Owners of companies - especially sole proprietorships or partnerships used to running their businesses, where one or two people do all the thinking, risk overlooking warning signs that something is not right. This complacency could turn out to be very costly for the business. So often blame is shifted to ‘financial slowdown’ or ‘undercutting’ or ‘increased competition’, when actually the fault lies elsewhere.
Consultants usually recommend running the business through the ‘health check’.  While cash flows is the fundamental and critical factor between survival and demise, other check boxes that need to be ticked are rent, lease or buy decisions, credit policies, bad debt percentage, depreciation, review of overheads, return on investment, stock positions, customer relationship, identifying and fixing bottlenecks. Non-financial indicators like  key staff leaving the company, lack of action on customer feedback - especially if there is a disenchantment, poor communication between sales and production need to be paid special attention to. Inspite to increased automation, print is still people dependent and therefore a periodic ‘health check’ will ensure financial well being.
This issue of PrintWeek MEA features an interesting article on the extent of collaboration and connection via the internet, and  our Technology Report examines on the rekindling of the love of reading books.

Shilpa Jasani is the editor of PrintWeek MEA magazine.