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Who’s To Blame?
by Herb Carlson
July 29, 2021

SCORE has been a part of the Emmet County landscape for over 30 years. During that time many of my business friends have donated their time and expertise helping up-and-coming entrepreneurs to achieve their dream, and to council old line business owners to save theirs.

Our business counselors have sat and discussed the many pitfalls to new and old businesses alike, what may be lacking to owning and running a successful business. We have many success stories we could share but will not because of oath confidentiality. 

Why is it that less than 10% of the people starting a business ever become really successful? Who or what is to blame for this, in this great country of ours, where the opportunities to succeed are available to everyone who want and are willing to work for it? 

And why is it that every year more than 15,000 businesses fail?  Perhaps we are asking the wrong question; the answers may lie by raising another question. What makes a business successful? 

Is it money? Not necessarily. Many a company that started with small capital has succeeded in a big way. Is it luck? Luck can put the business on the path of opportunity, but luck alone cannot guarantee success. Is it having the right product or service at the right time? Perhaps, but even the best products and services must be successfully marketed, and sold, to produce the profits that make that business successful.  

Is it management? To a large extent, but management must have the right kinds of people to manage.  

When you get right down to it, it has something that mere money cannot buy, an organization of loyal people with the right attitude toward their work. We all have enjoyed an evening of dining at our favorite restaurant, think about what made the evening enjoyable? Is it the food, that’s part of it? The cost of the meal also could influence the outcome. The real game changer for any outing is how we are treated by the staff. From start to finish, the best steak can be ruined by a bad attitude of the waiter or waitress. 

The principal thing that makes a business succeed or fail is the kind of people the business employs, and the attitudes of those people toward their work. The right attitudes lead to success; the wrong attitudes lead to mediocrity or failure, for both the business and for the people who work for it.

About the author
Herb Carlson
Herb Carlson
Herb Carlson, a volunteer business counselor with SCORE’s Tip of the Mitt chapter, has a background as a business owner as well as in engineering, and is a former mayor of Petoskey
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