As you work your way through 2006, David Kohl, professor emeritus of applied and agricultural economics at Virginia Tech, suggests that you place the following items on a watch list. They could signal problems for your business.

Ask yourself if your business is dealing with these elements:

  • High debt load, with low working capital reserve.
  • Good ideas or strategies, but poor execution.
  • Little profit with high capital appreciation.
  • “Bigness on the brain” -- all you want to do and focus on is grow, grow, grow.
  • Communication problems-- either internally or externally.
  • Natural resource and community challenges.
  • Negative net income and growth in eight of the last 10 years.
  • High-maintenance people who are not fully occupied while at they’re work.