Case Study #2: Nearly a Million Frustrations for this Family Run Business

This small business, like many I have worked with was family owned and operated. Often times they are started because someone has a passion for a particular vocation or skill, but lacks the knowledge to manage the business decisions that make delivering on that vocation or skill profitable.

Background:  The President, (also a licensed contractor), was shouldering the weight of the world and felt an almost unbearable amount of frustration and concern.  The company appeared very profitable on paper, but they owed nearly a million dollars in back payroll and sales tax.

With this project, an old story came to mind.  The story of four people whose names were “Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.”   There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.   – Unknown

Solution: We sat down and discussed what each employee’s job responsibility was and their skill level.  The hope was to determine the best way for everyone to respond to the reality of the situation, create reasonable expectations and improve overall job performance.   Then we reviewed company forms that were used for bidding jobs, purchase orders and the system they used to determine jobs in progress and percent of completion status.  The data gathered allowed us to create an action plan to fill the gaps and transform the areas of the business that were falling apart.

Results:  By the end of the project, government agencies had ceased levy threats, employees were trained within the areas of their weaknesses and forms were revised and updated, giving the business a whole new “frustration free” lease on life.

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