Learn From These Management Horror Stories
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's wishful thinking to say that once you launch a business everything will go smoothly.
In fact, that is rarely the case. And no matter what the problem is, there are always lessons to be learned.
From employee nightmares to natural disasters, here are the stories of four businesses that overcame challenges to prosper:
Lesson No. 1: You might need to get tough with employees
Company: Lady Fortunes Gourmet Cookie Co.
Canoga Park, Calif.
Lady Fortunes Gourmet Cookie Co. CEO and founder Daria Artem was a struggling MBA student when she launched the company in 2004. Artem, who dabbled in baking, was celebrating her birthday at a Chinese restaurant and was challenged by her friends to create a fortune cookie the size of a cake. Not only did she succeed in the challenge; she created a business around it.
Lady Fortunes does custom orders for special events, wholesale and private-label orders for places such as TJ Maxx(TJX) , Costco(COST) and Wal-Mart's(WMT) Sam's Club, and just this year began to sell to customers directly. The company has expanded into a full-scale bakery with 40 full- and part-time employees.
While Artem, 31, knew what she wanted in terms of her product, she was less familiar with running a team that would produce and sell her creations.
Artem tells the story of a former employee working full time at the company and going to school. The employee had shared with Artem a term paper she had written. Artem, admiring the girl's work, asked when she found the time to complete a term paper early while working and going to school. Unfortunately, that paper was done on Artem's time. While the paper got done, the employee's work tasks did not.
"That was definitely a very illuminating moment," Artem says.
She ended up firing the employee, but more importantly, Artem says she revamped her processes for managing employees and keeping track of assigned tasks. She says her processes make employees more productive and keeps employees accountable.
"I directly changed the way I delegate tasks when I have a project. I'm no longer giving people general
Employees are also required to account for their time in weekly reports.