Some great observations - but no conclusion
I agree 100% with the opening paragraphs. That's a great summary of how hard it is to run a modest-sized business.
It's a shame the article doesn't really lead anywhere.
I agree that more good data would be really, really helpful. If you're a big operation, you have loads of data already and you can apply analytics to learn new stuff. But what do you do if you're a smaller concern? With only tens or hundreds of customers. How on earth can you (cost-effectively) gather enough data to make a sane decision?
Many bosses just go with gut feel. The rest of us cling to the hope it wasn't simply the result of what the boss had for lunch...