Wednesday, September 16, 2009


So why do so many company owners struggle with seeking help with their businesses? My theory is the very thing that makes them strike out on their own, gets in the way of them seeking help to make their business better. To me, most small business owners are like the gunslingers of the old West. They are fiercely independent, and do not cotton too having anyone else messing around in their business. The famous phrase “Badges, …..badges, I don’t got to show you no stinking badges” comes to mind here. Therefore, when you suggest they join an Enhancement Group of some kind and exchange business ideas with the members, their red flags go up. They come up with all kinds of excuses why they do not want to join, the two most common being they do not have time, and/or they cannot afford it.

The irony of this, is that by joining and then getting involved with a group of their successful peers, they will soon reap the benefits and be able to more than pay for their costs of belonging to the group. I believe one thing all of these enhancement groups have in common, is that the members have on average more successful businesses than many non-members do. I am not suggesting they are better people, just better business people. For crying out loud, we have more than enough class envy to go around in this country today anyway, without carrying it over to Plumbing and HVAC contractors.

If you talk to any successful business owner, you will find they have several things they all do. They are very good at delegating, and putting the right people in the right place. They work on their business, not in it. They are superior in marketing themselves and their business. They keep current with their markets by keeping their ear to the ground to find out who is doing what. They are constantly researching the latest technology, asking questions, and looking for an edge, as well as seeking advice through several mentors.

Some of these mentors are not in the same industry, as they realize that good business is good business for anyone. They spend a lot of time gaining knowledge attending seminars and meetings with their peers, and they are not afraid of the “Competition”, as they are secure in themselves and what they do. However, I feel the biggest thing they have in common is they have overcome the very strong force of Human Nature that makes most of us feel extremely uncomfortable by appearing less knowledgeable than our peers. So how do you get past this? I have found that until the person is ready overcome this fear, it just will not happen.

Over the years, I have developed a very low-pressure approach to getting new members in the PHCC. It can be as simple as just going to lunch and sharing some of the mistakes you have made over the years. Then explaining how you fixed them with the help from others in the industry, will go along way toward having someone realize that we are all in the same boat. A few times I have run their numbers at no charge, which has also gained some members. So it can be done, it just takes a little TLC.

Just my thoughts,

Gene B

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