We left you last month at the end of the road for Best Bros Builders Ltd. Two mates, being forced to go separate ways, two families close to breaking point, a massive debt, homes on the line and bankruptcy looming. A tragic story but also a very common one, this sort of thing has been going on for decades and will continue to go on for many more decades and the reason being, people are involved. We are a complicated bunch and although there are a set of simple business rules 101 to follow when you add in pride, greed, jealousy, lack of knowledge and a whole raft of other human emotions you have to ask the question “is there really any hope of becoming successful business people?” Well of course there is its happening everywhere.
What could the Best Bros team have done differently? In an ideal world they should have read Business Set Up 101 and followed the list below.
1. Write a business plan
2. Draw up cash flows and budgets
3. Compile job descriptions and responsibility schedules for ALL team members
4. Write a marketing strategy and budget
5. Design a business model with systems and procedures
6. Write a growth plan for 1, 5 and 10 years
7. Complete all the legal documentation before you start which must include a shareholders agreement (even if it is a husband and wife team).
This is simply a business in a box and should be done before you start your first quote, it will give you the best foundation for your company and if done properly will iron out most future issues. In reality many companies do complete some or the entire list above but they do it during the life of the company. This is not a bad thing as long as it gets done but in our “ideal” scenario its best to do it at the beginning.
Now don’t for one minute think that if you have all 7 points in place you are guaranteed success and millions in the bank because we come back to the human factor. You have to work the list and if you are not sure how to do that, here’s a novel idea, get some help. Forget your pride, get over your shyness pick up that phone and call. Some of the best business heads in the country surround themselves with people who know more than they do and here’s the bonus, it makes them look good.
If you are up and running and don’t have any or some of the points don’t stress it’s not too late to put them in place. If you are suffering some of the symptoms that the Best Bros Builders did, there is still hope. Two simple but life changing pieces of advice I can offer is 1/ don’t play the ostrich game, face up to the problems because they will not go away only get worse, 2/ communication is the key to fixing and preventing, might sound obvious but the single most common issue I come across is business partners not talking and harbouring discontent. This is the biggest killer of partnerships.
Could the Best Bros business have survived? The answer is possibly. This is of course dependent on many factors and one being future profitability to sustain debt reduction but over and above that is attitude. If you want it to happen it can but you have to be ready for change, open dialogue and the introduction of some outside help.
Too many words about the not so good side of business… next time we chat about a success story. If you want to discuss a problem you are facing always remember you can just give Trades Coaching New Zealand a call on 09 9454880.