Being a business owner for SME is tricky.
The production line needs to move so that it will churn out products. Your employees keep on quitting on you and you just cannot seem to find anyone to come and work for your company. After all, you do provide the basics – basic pay, basic annual and SOCSO. The average line managers’ salary is RM2,500.00. You do take in the occasional Management Trainee so that there is someone at the reception table to answer phone calls and do all the other administrative works. The factory is located far away from the main road but it is a cheap rental. So far none of the employees has a complaint about having to travel the distance.
You want to expand your business but it takes too much time to call those people at the ministries, relevant departments and even to go for any networking sessions with the peers in the industry.
All you want to do is to produce more, sell more and earn more profits. Most of the time you find yourself doing all the firefighting and ended up dejected. You are always “too busy” to take a look at the company and try to improvise.
And you still wonder why your staff turnover is at an all-time high of 50% and no one wants to work for you?
As the title suggests, let’s take a look at what kind of lessons we can learn from building a house.
It is likened to building a house from scratch where you first need to think of what kind of a house are you going to build. Next comes to the type of material, who are your contractors, how long will the house be ready for, location, costs to build this house and so forth. Once the house is ready, you will want to decorate it with all the furnishings, furniture and fittings so that the house will be a home.
A business is like a house where you need to put up the basic structure or otherwise your contractor will not be able to “read” your mind. His understanding of the size of the dream pool you have in mind may not even come close. The 4-seater dining table will serve its purpose – a dining table- but will not look good in a space suitable for 12.
Simple as that. Start with the structure. Sure, you will not see the immediate need as to why you need to lay down a foundation before slapping the mud to build the wall. But try it when the raining season comes and you will see the mud slides down and you are left with nothing.
Ok, so I am talking about a mud house but this concept is so primitive that even Mr Arg Arg from the Cave Era understood the basics so I really do not understand why a brilliant, postgraduate businessman in this 21st century has a zero understanding of this concept.
Look, dude, if you are always too busy, then maybe running a business is not suitable for you. Can’t have a reactive leader up there when there are so many things are at stake. Oh, besides that, do not be too cheapskate as to back peddle on what you have instructed your contractor to do cause nothing is free in this world.
This article first appeared in my LinkedIn post on June 3, 2017. Read it here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lesson-from-building-house-hanie-razaif-bohlender/