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Business Failures

Posted on November 13

The media has been covering the failure of SEARS CANADA, which filed for protection in June, and Toys R Us, which recently filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy with a $3.1-billion financing package. That was the largest ever for a retailer. Most experts agree that  the changing preferences and shopping habits of consumers are behind these large business failures, and there is no doubt that online shopping and reduced traffic to traditional shopping malls have something to do with challenges  most retailers now face.

A company wants to speed up its growth, gain new resources and/or assets. Going "solo" through organic growth may work but takes longer to achieve. So the company considers acquisition. It's like constructing a new house versus buying an existing one. Buying an existing house makes you the owner overnight compared to having to wait until the new house is built.

The Government of Ontario is proposing radical changes that will affect business and employees across the province. With little warning, negligible consultation, and economic impact research, the government is setting the province in a new direction. Here is a quick summary of five key changes:

Recently I received two emails: “No poets are accepted at the office” (instead of pets). Another wrote: “I need an assistant that is efficient, cheerful and reproductive under pressure.”

I am often asked the difference between strategies, tactics, and operational decisions. Differentiating between these three types of actions is very important for running a business successfully.

In December 1974 I was working as a waiter at le Castillion Restaurant in The Bonaventure Hotel, in downtown Montreal. At the time, le Castillion was one of the top restaurants in the city. Smoked salmon was cut and served at the table, Caesar salad prepared and tossed in front of dining customers, violinists serenaded patrons to celebrate their special occasions, and Cuban cigars available—to provide a special finale to a unique gastronomic experience.

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