The other day, I was sharing a ride with a colleague, when it became obvious that he had a flat tyre. I thought I spotted it first (we were swerving all over the road) , but it was several minutes before he realised.
“Oh – It’s been like that for some time”, he said. “Well, not so much flat – just a slow puncture that I have to keep re-inflating every few days.”
It appears that “every few days” had now increased from once a fortnight, to once a week, to now every day..!
And today, he had overlooked the “low pressure” warning light on his dashboard once too often, and the tyre had gone completely flat. So flat, in fact, that he had ruined the tyre completely by driving for several miles without paying attention to it.
20 Years Ago
Now, it’s been over 20 years since I’ve changed a tyre but I assumed that’s what we’d do.
So, we got out of the car, and after 20 minutes, I realised the benefit of not attempting this task ourselves.
- It was a pain just to get access to the spare tyre. You needed to winch it down from under the boot.
- The tool for the winching was flimsy and ineffective.
- After he eventually got to the spare tyre, he then attempted to get the flat tyre off the axle.
- He was unable to do that.
- The jack didn’t seem that safe.
- And the wheel was stuck.
He kicked the rim – a lot. He mentioned that was his standard procedure – one that he had obviously tried several times before. He said that usually worked, but somehow, I didn’t believe him. He didn’t have tools – like a hammer – that might have helped him do his job.
One Hour Later
After wrestling with the hub cap and the tyre for about an hour, he admitted defeat.
“Shall I call the AA..?” I volunteered. It appears that he doesn’t believe in paying for things like the Automobile Association professional breakdown service, but instead now finds himself paying for a far more expensive brand new tyre (and, as we saw later, more expenses to come.) So, I offered to use my AA membership, which covers me with any vehicle.
Within another 20 minutes, the AA arrived. The man had the right tool and the right knowledge. The tool was a small rubber hammer and the knowledge was to tap from the inside. No kicking involved.
It wasn’t Formula One speed, but with his special wrench and flexible jack, he had replaced the tyre within 5 minutes.
As the AA man was leaving, he pointed out to my friend that he now needed a completely new tyre – and that whilst he was at the tyre shop, he should get the mechanics to look at his other tyres. Apparently, the front two were now illegal, because the “tracking” had been misaligned for some time.
“These problems will be costing you loss of efficiency in the running of the vehicle, and increasing your fuel bills every day,” he told my friend. “It’s not only illegal – it is unsafe..!” he said as he pulled away.
Some Telling Answers
As we headed on our way ourselves, it made we wonder how he runs his business.
The next 30 minutes conversations revealed some telling answers…
- “Oh no – I don’t use a Business Coach – they are far too expensive”.
(What, like the AA..?)
- “Oh no – I don’t use a Bookkeeper – I do my accounts on a Sunday”.
(Whilst his kids are visiting the park, apparently – so he doesn’t see is kids at play)
- “Oh no – I don’t know about the financials of my business – it’s not my year-end yet”.
(Last year he submitted his accounts 9 months after the year-end, so he had actually no idea of his financial performance for 21 months)
- “Oh no – I don’t really know which is my most profitable product. But I know what I like doing best.”
(But he couldn’t tell me when he last sold the service that he “liked the best”.)
Is YOUR Business running on a Flat Tyre..?
If you are a business owner, here are three Key Success Questions for you…
- Do you have the right Hammer for the Job in your business..? The AA man had exactly the right tools, and – just as importantly – he knew exactly where to tap to get the right result. Have you developed the right SKILLS to make you a Better Business Owner, or are you just an employee in your own business..?
- When did you last check to see if Your Business is running on a Flat Tyre..? What are the warning lights on YOUR dashboard..? Don’t wait until a small bill becomes a big bill, and potentially causes big disruption in your business – perhaps with fatal consequences.
- Is your business travelling along a country road (with nice scenery) or on a Motorway to Success..? And, more importantly, if you are on a motorway, are you travelling in the right direction..? Remember to check your progress and the warning lights regularly.
Don’t be a hostage to other people’s Problems, Goals and Agendas…
It’s your Business
It’s your Life
It’s OK to take control…
This content is produced by Peter Sylvester who is the Founder of Integrus Global.