Rx for Survival: Treat the Causes, Not the Symptoms

Problems—in business or anywhere else—can be solved only by getting to the roots of the problems. Flailing away at the leaves only produces compost fodder. In the medical world, those leaves are called symptoms. But doctors treat symptoms of a disease only when the cause is unknown. In the financial world, we often see symptoms such as low cash, low net profits, or both. But those symptoms are caused by something —and that's where the diagram below becomes useful. It represents the financial skeleton of your business. As you can see, it's a self-contained system, but, as with any system, it requires maintenance to function properly. It presents a "big picture" overview but at the same time leads us through a process of analysis designed to pinpoint potential problem areas. This cause-and-effect analysis is an invaluable resource for business owners. A few words on how to read t

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