• Dave Fuller MBA, Author

Business fails without right tools

Updated: May 7, 2018

It was the final straw. I was laying on the ground after falling off the roof of the house and the carpenter John was standing over me yelling. He was mad because his saw horses had been broken in half because of my stupidity, while I was just wondering if I had broken anything in my body.

It was a final straw. John, who was in charge of the construction site, went to Louis, the company owner, to ask that I be fired for incompetence again. Luckily for me, Louis had a soft spot for my ineptitude and suggested that John give me a different tool to work with (a broom) and keep me away from activities and roofs that might injury me, and cause John more stress.

Last week I facilitated a webinar for a national business association where I asked two questions of the business owners who were participating.

1. Why did you get into business? A) Because of the money? or B) because you were passionate about it?

2. Is your business making enough money? Yes or No

Seventy per cent of the business owners on the webinar responded that they got into business because they were passionate about what they were doing, while only 30 per cent said that they got into business for the money. Many people who have real jobs might be surprised at this result. Some people assume that business owners are just focused on money. However, I wasn't surprised.

The majority of the hundreds of business owners I've worked with, have started, or bought their business because of passion. They loved what they were doing and thought that they could make a business of it. They wanted to make a difference in the lives of their customers, and they loved the interactions that the business provided.

As for the second question, 81 per cent of the respondents said no, the business wasn't making the money that it should be. Was I surprised at this result- again no I wasn't.

My experience of working with business owners over the years has shown me that while some business owners are really doing well with their businesses, most are struggling. Perhaps you might not recognize it, because the cars are leased, and you don't see the monthly bank payments or statements or the sleepless nights, but owning a business can be very difficult at times.

So what is the problem? Why aren't businesses making enough money to provide for the owner's needs? It's not that business owners are not putting in the time or the energy to make the business work, they are. Many business owners I know are working 50-60 or more hours per week. But the reality is if you don't have the right tools, you are going to have to put in the extra hours to build the dream.

If I am building a house and am using a handsaw instead of a electric skill saw, or a screwdriver instead of a handheld powered drill, it's going to take me a lot longer to get the job finished. If I have helpers that fall off the roof instead of contributing by driving nails, the house will take longer to build. If I don't have a set of plans to guide me in where to put the foundation, or no one has taught me how to frame the walls, things will be out of kilter.

The same applies to your business. Without the right tools, people and plans, your business is going to suffer. Chances are you are going to have to work harder, longer and it's going to cost you more, affecting your bottom line. Of course 81 per cent of the business owners I asked were struggling, it's because they didn't have the right tools.

Without the right tools, we can't build a house, without the right people doing the right jobs with competency, things are going to get broken. This week think about what tools you need to build your dream business.

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