Just read a good article that had 15 warning signs that your company is in trouble. 15 Warning Signs your business is in trouble. When I read it I thought about people and small businesses that I have worked with and could check off at least 5 or 6 of the reasons for many of them and more for others.
Being on top of your business and what it stands for is important. Staying in touch with your customers is even more important as they are your best source of feedback for improvements and change in how you do business. You don't need to hire a marketing firm to do a "focus group" ... you just need to be open and ready to hear about how you are doing. I've worked for people who were not interested in asking their customers how they were doing. Instead they pushed ahead on their own agenda without noticing the changes going on around them.
Check them out and see how many you answer yes to and how you're going to turn things around...it's never too late!