Monday, January 9, 2012

If They Can Do It, So Can I

I am a student of business owners. In my line of work I see all kinds of businesses, how they function, and their level of success. My personal experience qualifies me to make comments on the subject. Tax Prep & Accounting Services breathed life under my personal name in 1982, taking on the name Tax Prep & Services in 1989, and its current form in 1992. I have managed real estate and financial services companies. So you don't think bad things of me, I also produce stuff on my farm.

Most businesses fail in the first 5 years. They fail due to too little business or too much business. Too little is easy to understand, but too much? Yes, too much business too fast requires advanced management skills most small business owners lack. A business owner producing widgets is great at making widgets. He has a difficult time delegating the task of production and managing the workforce. Sometimes the owner cannot do it. His skills in management are inadequate.

A new phenomenon (to me, at least) has struck small business. Several of my business clients have hours starting at 9 or 10 in the morning and end at 3 sharp to pick up the kids. Either I didn't notice this before or there is a new business model in town. The funny things about this phenomenon is that it works. The businesses that use it are very successful. Most have employees. The employees work longer, but the boss is out by 3. Period.

Seeing business owners running their business on reduced hours intrigues me. Why does it work? After questioning clients/business owners using reduced hours I discovered an important point. Owners that work long hours get less done due to fatigue, make more mistakes, and poorer decisions. Shorter hours allow for a fresher mind and greater productivity. They also enjoy their work more.

Employees get more work and hours in these businesses. The boss is out talking with new clients while staff gets the work done. Everybody wins. The boss leaves early, but works evenings or weekends when necessary. When the boss works 40 hours a week he is kinder to his clients and employees. He also enjoys his family.

Now you know. This new information has me thinking. Don't call me after 3; I'll be golfing. Talk to Jeff; he'll be there. Wait a minute. It's tax season. Forget it. I'll be in the office from 4 AM to midnight.

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