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Old 02-10-2019, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
22,124 posts, read 16,310,637 times
Reputation: 25549

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I grew up in a small community, outside of a city of about 50,000. A family friend of mine owned a deli/gas station/chicken joint in the community. He sold a lot of breakfast biscuits, "broasted" chicken, BBQ, burgers, etc. It was a favorite of the blue collar folks in the neighborhood, and the neighborhood was mostly blue collar. He also sold beer, cigs, and a small amount of groceries. Classic roadhouse kind of place. He had run it for over thirty years, his in-laws for nearly twenty years prior to him. I've known him well for a decade, and there was no hint that the place was not profitable.

The family friend sold out last year for about $300,000 to a small group that was also trying to revive a then out of business local BBQ chain. This was a local group of investors - who, to my knowledge, had no background in the restaurant industry. They changed the menu up. Stopped selling beer. The last time I was in there, I was charged double for a biscuit, and never came back. All in all, it took six months to run the place into bankruptcy. It's now shuttered.

My family friend doesn't want to run it anymore, but the community is basically clamoring for him to buy it back for a song. He's still debating it.

This was a place that had nearly fifty years of history that was run into the ground within six months. What are the records you've seen?
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:26 PM
 
4,629 posts, read 1,898,172 times
Reputation: 14470
I consulted for a large grocery chain, 200 stores in all. The owner, a go-getter old-school entrepreneur, died in a plane crash. The son took over and, although he didn't do anything particularly stupid, he simply lacked the old man's instinct for leadership. The son was more interested in running golf tournaments and, even then, wasn't that good at it. He sold the chain, and just kind of faded into the woodwork.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
5,582 posts, read 1,853,787 times
Reputation: 8369
Many. Usually in the model of a successful one person or family business taken over by a partner, a new hire, or family member who isn't capable.

In my small town days, there was a very popular sandwich restaurant in the middle of town, in a town with very few eating options, taken over by the founding owner's manager. Even though she had helped run the place for years, it closed within 6 months because she drove all the traffic elsewhere. Literally handed a gold mine and turned it into a landfill.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:07 AM
 
3,369 posts, read 2,881,080 times
Reputation: 6901
I sold my successful businesses to a fast-talking, know-it-all guy who mistook my slow manner and southern drawl for dim-wittedness. He took over after paying me a tidy sum and proceeded to reinvent all my processes that were proven efficient money makers. All employees quit within the first six months and he closed the door on one location within three years and sold the other for a tiny fraction of his purchase price a couple years after that. Had he done nothing and left running the business to the employees in place when he assumed control he could have pocketed mid six figures a year without even going to work.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:13 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,164 posts, read 40,602,767 times
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The fastest was a month but in defense of the buyer she was shown "alternative" books and financials by the seller.

What I see more often is the owner can't find a buyer and then just liquidates.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Central New Jersey
2,184 posts, read 773,653 times
Reputation: 3813
With social media and people finding a thrill to kick a man down over an isolated incident. Which may or may not be any fault of the business owners, but the rude over demanding customer. I've seen it happen a few times here around my town and surrounding area. One person says something, may not be entirely true. And the keyboard warriors come out en masse and post negative reviews galore.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:34 AM
 
11,647 posts, read 3,137,251 times
Reputation: 9567
We sold a 20 year successful "can't lose" business to a couple who decided to pinch pennies as opposed to the way we ran it. They counted every dollars....if electric rates went up, they immediately raised their prices.

They coasted for 10 years and made a lot of money. It took 10 more to completely run it into the ground...it had a lot of momentum, but it closed last month

When I stopped by a few years back they spent their time deriding Obama instead of asking me what they were doing wrong (which was quite obvious - all their employers and suppliers and customers have been telling us the stories for years).

One part of the downfall involved their conversion to evangelicals. They installed a big Bible in the window and signs for "Gifts of Faith" This was in an appliance store! I saw comments on FB from their own church members that the store treated them poorly! One can only imagine how those of other faiths...or no faith...felt.

The guy above who talks about the processes has it right. We ran the business by buying right and selling right and having TOO MUCH inventory. Any Biz school grad would have shook his head, but since we owned all the inventory (no borrowing), it really didn't matter to us if turnover was low. We made MANY more sales because someone would call up and ask "Do you have a Red Thingawhat? in stock?" and the answer was usually yes.
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:27 PM
 
4,730 posts, read 2,445,823 times
Reputation: 4039
Not a small business, but the current Disney Star Wars implosion as a successful IP is stunning to me. It's costing Disney billions of dollars from a SURE FIRE winner, especially in their toy sales (bread and butter of Star Wars).

Starting with the "force is female" mantra that Kathleen Kennedy began promoting during the TFA, and then the whole SJWing of the IP by artificially injecting "strong female" characters at the expense of castrating any male/masculine roles or characters (Admiral Holdo was terrible), Star Wars represents one of the best lessons anyone could learn from business in general.

Don't inject your political beliefs into your business model (the "Get woke go broke model").
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:37 PM
 
4,629 posts, read 1,898,172 times
Reputation: 14470
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliRestoration View Post
Not a small business, but the current Disney Star Wars implosion as a successful IP is stunning to me. It's costing Disney billions of dollars from a SURE FIRE winner, especially in their toy sales (bread and butter of Star Wars).

Starting with the "force is female" mantra that Kathleen Kennedy began promoting during the TFA, and then the whole SJWing of the IP by artificially injecting "strong female" characters at the expense of castrating any male/masculine roles or characters (Admiral Holdo was terrible), Star Wars represents one of the best lessons anyone could learn from business in general.

Don't inject your political beliefs into your business model (the "Get woke go broke model").

I don't think it's really a question of injecting a female lead character. I think it's more a question of not producing anything good. Even fanboys have their limits.

I mean, seriously. When they brought out Episode VII, it was the same basic plot as Episode IV: a nobody from a backwater desert planet becomes introduced to the Jedi and helps, despite a mentor being killed, destroy a Death Star. Same damned plot with enough minor variations to act as a fig leaf. And Kylo Ren as an evil figure? He basically pouted around as if he had been grounded for flunking algebra.

I left the theater wanting to sue someone. And then, only because my young teenager wanted to see it, I went to Episcode VIII. Even worse.

In truth, this franchise jumped the shark tank from the moment they trotted out the first Ewok. The problem is that the fanboys had no taste. Now the plots and dialog have sunk below even their low standards.
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
5,582 posts, read 1,853,787 times
Reputation: 8369
Good to hear from the "all ethics and morality is bad for business" faction, though.
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