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A Tale of a Business Failure
A Tale of a Business Failure
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Product Code: 9780982421703

A Tale of a Business Failure is a story of how a highly successful company quickly eroded and failed. The impact of the company on the shareholders’ lives modified behavior and decision-making to the point that the company was directly affected.

This is not a story about why businesses fail. Instead, this is a story about how my company failed and how the shareholders’ lives were forever changed. Unfortunately, my education, training and experience were not enough to prepare me for the events that led to the demise of this company.

Businesses fail.  It’s that simple.  Research by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that 56% of startup businesses do not survive past four years.  With the odds being against an entrepreneur, what makes them even try?

In my case, it was simple.  I already started and built a successful public accounting practice.  Additionally, I had acquired a troubled company in the transportation industry and completed a successful turn-around.  I knew that I was smart enough to be successful again, so failure never even entered my mind.  When the opportunity presented itself again, I was eager and jumped at the chance.

But the deal did not go as planned.  After having fantastic initial success, we soon struggled tirelessly and endlessly to find solutions to save our company.  But we could not.

As a financial professional, this event is much too embarrassing to share.  In fact, after drafting most of the book, I put it in a drawer never wanting to show it to anyone. “Why share such a personal failure with the world?” I continued to ask myself.  Besides, I realized that the company and the story faded to darkness and I was spared public embarrassment for failing.  I was safe.

Over time, I also realized that I was constantly drawing on my “failure” experience when counseling my business clients.  My experience was allowing me to help identify dangerous conditions and head off disasters before they occurred.  I learned more than I ever realized.

The more I reflected on the story, the more I realized that the lessons were too valuable to stuff away in a desk drawer.  The tale needed to be told.  Others needed to benefit from my story.  

What happened to our company and how we dealt with our continued adversity is only part of the tale.  How it affected our lives is the other part of the story.  I was not alone in this tale and my actions and reactions affected everyone involved.  Functioning with the continued stress takes its toll on a person—and everyone has a breaking point.  The combination of the personal and business failures makes for interesting lessons.  

Although I present this as a story about one company, the lessons are deep and far reaching. Anyone that currently owns a business; is contemplating owning business; is involved with a business as a consultant, banker, or lawyer; is a business educator; or is a student of business will benefit from reading this story.

I will be surprised if anyone can read this story without getting at least one shiver down their spine.

Average Customer Review: Average Customer Review: 5 of 5 5 of 5 Total Reviews: 2 Write a review.

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 US Review of Books August 4, 2010
Reviewer: US Review of Books  
Failed business and the subsequent lessons learned are prevailing themes in Davis book, A Tale of a Business Failure, which chronicles a true story of a successful vending machine business, which the author himself operated with his partner, Paul, and what ultimately led to their venture closing down.

The books starts with Davis, the author and the main character, attending the auction of his own company. There, all their remaining vending machine equipment is sold for a fraction of the price of what he and his partner originally invested. In a chronological order, Davis then outlines how the company started, how they operated over the years with his partner Paul, and what actions and mistakes eventually pulled the company under and out of business.

The book is a mixture of personal drama and classical business advice where Davis relates what eventually went wrong in the company and how the two partners should have done things differently to keep the company in operation. The personal drama unfolds throughout the book when Davis' partner Paul starts to have marital and drinking problems and starts cheating on his wife. In the end, Paul's morale, coupled with serious entrepreneurial mistakes that the company made over a long time period, affected the successful operations of the prosperous vending machine business they had together, despite various plans to save the company from Davis side.

The book is a good tome of information for a budding entrepreneur, an accountant, a business consultant, or even a business student who wishes to learn from cautionary tales and mistakes of other companies. The writing itself is written in a matter-of-fact tone, like a diary of a company's demise. However, the financial lessons in this book are worth it, as written by an experienced business consultant and an accountant. This book would be perfect for someone who would like to know how to correctly operate a money-making venture and keep it running for a long time.

A Tale of a Business Failure, John D. Davis, Danbury Publishing - Most often business books focus on their successes, but it is a fact that many companies will fail each year. Davis, a multiply certified C.P.A., has experience in both success and failure and has turned the experience into an examination of why his business failed. It is important to note that Davis' manufacturing firm had been thriving until it lost critical funding and then quickly eroded, resulting in a bank takeover and liquidation. Along the way, the principals of the company made a number of autonomous and dangerous choices that led to disaster. Better intercommunication, with an eye toward controlled capital expenditure, may have helped avoid the company's demise, but other factors, including ego and a general lack of discipline toward the business plan, created unreasonable expectations that eventually led to the dreaded client lack of confidence. Orders were cancelled, deadlines were missed, and the company sunk. Davis' tale of business woe reminds all entrepreneurs and venture capitalists that clients believe in the people associated with a company as much as the product. In fact, history shows that lesser products have been more successful because of superior people involved on all levels of the company.

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5 of 5 Midwest Book Review August 4, 2010
Reviewer: Midwest Book Review  
It's only a failure if one learns nothing from it. "A Tale of Business Failure: A Successful Entrepreneur's Story of a Deal That Went Bad" is not your normal inspirational business tale. A personal story of one man's business ventures gone wrong when he's made so many right decisions, his story is one that is intriguing as it serves as a warning to other aspiring entrepreneurs of what to beware. "A Tale of Business Failure" is well worth considering for any who want to be prepared for the worse for their business.

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