Thursday, March 12, 2015

Are You a Half-Hearted Kamikaze Revisited?

Why Update


Bergstrom - Elder Consulting GroupI find this trait so prevalent in small business today I see the need to write about it again with updates since I wrote about it in 2012. A lot has added to the causes of this disease that has infected small business owners.


A quick review of the term “Half-Hearted Kamikaze”


 It came from Tim Elmore a Christian Pastor and Speaker. I think it is relevant in today’s service business. First let’s look a definition of Kamikaze. As Tim Elmore puts it,” A Kamikaze is someone who (whether for good or evil) puts everything into one purpose.” Wikipedia defines the Kamikaze, literally: "God wind"; common translation: "Divine wind", where suicide attacks by military aviators from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II. These attacks were designed to destroy warships more effectively than was possible with conventional attacks. Numbers quoted vary, but at least 47 Allied vessels, from PT boats to escort carriers, were sunk by kamikaze attacks, and about 300 damaged. About 14% of kamikaze attacks managed to hit a ship.

The Business Definition


So what is a Half-Hearted Kamikaze? My definition as relating to business is a service business owner who talks the story of improvement, change, and full commitment but does not consistently strive to achieve the goal of an extremely successful business with time for the owner to enjoy life.

BEC Group

So why are so many service business owners half-hearted?


My observations of dozens and dozens of service businesses demonstrate several reasons.
1.             They may great technicians but they are not knowledgeable business owners.
2.              Another reason is the owner just does not have the drive to take the business to success but is satisfied with a paycheck equal or less than they could make as a technician for a successful company. Perhaps their spouse works and provides the additional income and benefits for the family.
3.             Often an owner enjoy technical side of the business so much they shy away from the hard decisions, the “books”, margins, waste, and the changes needed to more the business to the next level. Not necessarily larger but more profitable.
4.             A recent trend I am seeing is business owners dealing with technology. They either get so involved in technology that they forget about the fundamentals of operating a successful business or they fail to grasp the opportunities that newer technologies offer to improve the fundamentals of a business.
5.             Also a recent issue is the red tape and regulations imposed by the government that stifle success these include regulations that do not make sense for a small business, burdensome paperwork, poorly trained inspectors, codes that change often, codes that do work for existing structures, laws that vary city to city, and of course government involvement in employee benefits.
6.             The last one I’m going to mention is marketing. A business owner can no longer rely on a simple “Yellow Pages” display ad to generate business. With websites, social sites, third
SayYesToSuccess.com
party advertising, customer online reviews, mobile marketing, and dozens of other newer marketing places and technics, the business owner is lost so they often give up.


The Consequences

The owner probably has little or no retirement fund when he retires. He may take cash under the table thus compromising his integrity. His business may be supported by his vendors who provide credit too easily. He owes more than the business is worth. He may have stress related illnesses such as heart trouble, high blood pressure, diabetes or another health issue. He retires to a life much less than a business owner deserves, if he is able to retire. Perhaps he works at a big box store like Walmart or Home Depot instead of enjoying retirement, hobbies, and the grandkids.

So what’s the answer?


Either become fully engaged or work for someone who is and avoid the downside of being half-hearted. Today there are dozens of ways to beat the half-hearted disease. Contact me if you would like to discuss this more and move your business forward.

Don't be a Half-Hearted Kamikaze, make the decision today!



Dan has been in the service industry for nearly 50 years. He has operated a large plumbing, heating and air conditioning service company and for the past 12 years has helped small companies in the service business to grow and prosper. 


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