Hindsight is always 20-20, he now knew the Wobble began when he took his eye off the business and it became secondary to his personal life.  After all, after 20 years busting his hump, doing everything to drive this business to where it was, wasn’t it “his” time to enjoy the fruits of his labors?

His two boys were going to be gone soon.  The older was in his Junior year at college and his younger was a senior in private school.  If he didn’t take time now, then he would have no relationship with them.  His time away had provided, but it was now time to travel with his sons and golf with his buddies in Scotland and far away places.  He deserved it.

When the trouble came, it came quickly and hit hard.  It was like a “perfect storm.”  There was no one on his team who could act in his absence.

This is common and particularly difficult for smaller business owners, since they have no one to hand off the day-to-day …… no second or third in line who has all the entrepreneurial skills to manage the enterprise.

What I have found after nearly 25 years in doing turnarounds is that most of the “answers” are common sense and reside in the organization.  What is missing is empowerment, cross-talking and action.

There are certain points in every business that create a need to change how things are managed and those seem to happen at around $25m in sales, again at $45m and again at $60m.  The complexities, speed and shear mass of activities challenge the owner to create a more empowering organization.

This can be done with existing people, but they need constant improvement training (they are worth it) and learn how to cross-talk (breaking down silos).