Blogs by William Manchee
2 - Defending the Small Business - Doomed From Day One
10/11/2008 8:30:07 AM
Due to the current economic meltdown, Attorney/Author William Manchee's has decided to share his insights and experiences, acquired from 30 years practicing law, as to why small businesses fail and what can be done to help them survive.
Many small businesses are doomed from day oneónot from competition or the economy, but from their owners. From the moment they proudly frame their first dollar made and hang it on the wall, it is just a matter of time, days, weeks, or months before their business fails. When the doors open, they are full of excitement and hope, and expect only wonderful things to happen to them. Unfortunately, their destiny is already decided because they have no idea how a business should be operated.
I have a friend who is an amateur pilot. He loves flying and has a small plane that he meticulously maintains and flies on the weekends. He has logged hundreds of hours and I feel very comfortable flying with him. If anything were to go wrong, he would know what to do. I, on the other hand, know nothing about airplanes and if he were to have a heart attack while we were flying together, we would be in serious trouble. Sure Iíve watched him fly the plane and it looks pretty easy, but the reality is that flying a plane is a very complicated and tricky business. Odds are I would crash the plane and we would both perish.
Many businesses look deceptively simple and people think they will be easy to run. Rarely is that the case. Running a business without training and experience can be as tricky and dangerous as piloting an airplane for the very first time. Yet every day thousands of entrepreneurs embark on new business ventures with a vision but without a plan, with hope but without a realistic likelihood of success.
One of my old clients, Roger Blake, is a plumber. He and his wife, Jane, have been running their small plumbing business for years. They do primarily subcontract work for home builders and have a good reputation. Jane handles the day-to-day operation of the business and Roger oversees all the actual plumbing.
Several years ago there was a period of six or eight months in Dallas where new construction almost came to a standstill. During this stretch Roger and Jane got behind on their mortgage payments and lost their home. Jane was so upset about it, she left Roger to do some thinking about the future.
Roger was lost without Jane. Not only did he not know how to run a business, he didnít have time to do his and Janeís job too. Both Roger and Jane were necessary for the business to be successful. So I told Roger he had three choices: to reconcile with Jane, hire someone who could do what Jane had done for the business, or learn Janeís job and work 18 hours a day.
In todayís world opportunities abound for learning how to run a small business. The libraries and bookstores are full of books on the subject. Colleges and private institutions provide classes and training on almost every aspect of operating a business. The small business administration and other government agencies also have books, periodicals and training on various aspects of running a business. These educational and training opportunities require a time commitment, however, that may not be feasible. This was the case with Roger.
Roger and Jane eventually reconciled. Unfortunately, by the time they got their business operating smoothly again, they were way behind on their bills and had little hope of catching up. To give them time to recover I suggested they file a chapter 13 debtor adjustment which is a form of personal bankruptcy in which you are allowed to continue to run a small business. Under chapter 13 they were able to keep their creditors at bay and pay out what they owed over five years.
During this time I suggested Roger learn everything that Jane did for the business in case for any reason she couldnít perform those functions in the future. It wasnít that I was pessimistic about his marriage, but I wanted him to appreciate the contribution she was making to the business and to take her more seriously. Then if she did leave him, he would be able do her job until he could hire someone to take her place or find a new partner.
Post a Comment
More Blogs by William Manchee
Why Many Intelligent and Talented People Fail in Business - Monday, May 07, 2012
Getting the Mail Can Be Risky Business - Friday, May 04, 2012
Consumers Suffer Grievous Injury When Creditors Improperly Report Their Credit after Bankruptcy - Thursday, May 03, 2012
The Effect of Print on Demand to the Small Press Author - Monday, July 04, 2011
Nine-Eleven's Impact on the Small Press Author - Sunday, July 03, 2011
Has Your Mortgage Company Ripped You Off? - Saturday, August 07, 2010
Wrongful Foreclosure - Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Don't Throw Away The Evidence - Friday, January 15, 2010
Brandy - Saturday, October 17, 2009
Why I Write in Different Genres - Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Cash for Clunkers Bad Idea for Many Consumers - Monday, August 03, 2009
Beware of Debt Negotiators - Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Top Ten Reviewers - Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Debt Collector Put Out of Business In Texas - Sunday, April 26, 2009
Defending the Small Business - Part 23 - Changing Your Ways - Tuesday, April 07, 2009
What Every Bankruptcy Filer Should Know - Part 3 - Will Filing Bankruptcy Ruin Your Credit? - Thursday, March 19, 2009
Defending the Small Business - Part 22 - Bookkeeping and Accounting - Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Chill, It's No Big Deal - Sunday, March 01, 2009
What All Bankruptcy Filers Should Know - Part 2 - Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Defending the Small Business - Part 21 Form of Business - Thursday, February 19, 2009
What Every Bankruptcy Filer Should Know - Saturday, January 31, 2009
Defending the Small Business - Part 20, Getting an Attorney - Sunday, January 25, 2009
Defending the Small Business - Part 19 - Employees, Double Trouble - Sunday, January 11, 2009
Defending the Small Business Under Siege - Part 18, Loan Consolidations & Workouts - Sunday, January 04, 2009
Defending the Small Business: Part 17 - Bankruptcy: Friend or Foe? - Monday, December 29, 2008
Tarizon: The Liberator Launch Update - Friday, December 26, 2008
Defending the Small Business - Part 16 - When the Constable Knocks - Friday, December 05, 2008
Defending the Small Business - Part 15 - State & Local Taxes - Saturday, November 22, 2008
Defending the Small Business - Part 14 - Dealing With IRS Collections - Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Defending the Small Business - Part 13 - Uncle Sam, The Sleeping Giant - Thursday, November 06, 2008
Defending the Small Business - Part 12 It's Not As Bad As It Looks - Monday, November 03, 2008
Defending the Small Business - Part 11. Misfortune - Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Defending the Small Business: Part 10. Competition - Thursday, October 23, 2008
Defending the Small Business. Part 9. Theft & Embezzlement - Monday, October 20, 2008
Defending the Small Business - Part 8. Greedy Lenders - Sunday, October 19, 2008
7 - Defending The Small Business: The Credit Conspiracy - Saturday, October 18, 2008
6 - Defending the Small Business - Giving it away. - Thursday, October 16, 2008
5. Defending the Small Business: Starting on A Shoe String - Wednesday, October 15, 2008
4. Defending the Small Business: Suffocation - Tuesday, October 14, 2008
3 - Defending the Small Business: Looting - Monday, October 13, 2008
Understanding the Current Economic Meltdown - Saturday, October 11, 2008
2 - Defending the Small Business - Doomed From Day One - Saturday, October 11, 2008
1 - Defending the Small Business: Introduction - Friday, October 10, 2008
The Stan Turner Mysteries - Sunday, March 25, 2007