Want out of the Glass Business? Steps to Successfully Make Sure Your Business Fails

By Paul Bieber

Isn’t this column supposed to be about helping companies to succeed? Well this article will do that if you just DON’T follow any of these practical ideas that will lead you to close a business and lose your shirt.

Hire the cheapest labor you can find. You will save money with every new employee you hire … except you will be looking to hire in three months again and again.

It is always easy to call back the guys you fired last month for incompetence. They’ve probably become smarter while they were on unemployment.

Hire single people as they need less expensive benefits packages than a married person. Most single people job-hop more than married folk, saving you the cost of benefits with each new hire.

Continue to be the lowest price glass retailer in your region. You will get all sorts of business, but still won’t figure out why you’re losing money at the end of the year. But don’t worry, your business will not last until next year.

On jobsites, when the client asks you to change something or do something extra, be sure to do it at no-charge. This way the client will come back to you with their next job. Heck, it’s easy to throw more labor on a job than you had estimated.

Give all of your quotes with the computations from the back of a scrap paper. After all, getting in the first quote is always important. Accuracy doesn’t matter anyway, because you won’t be in business long enough to honor the quote.

Buy products from the cheapest vendor. Don’t worry about specs … how many customers will take a micrometer to measure the thickness of the metal on the job? Don’t worry about the cheapest vendor backing you up either. They will only last long enough in business to hurt a lot of people.

You forgot to order the Argon gas for Mrs. Jones’ new windows? Don’t fret it. She’ll never know until next winter and then you’ll be in the car wash business anyway.

Spend every penny that comes in. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Worry about next year, next year. The economy is strong now anyway.

Don’t bother setting up a retirement plan for your employees. After all, no one stays longer than a couple of years.

Don’t hire a really smart foreperson. He is going to learn what you do and who your customers are and then open his own business down the street. You should be glad he is gone anyway as the employees listened to him more than you.

Don’t respond to your cell phone messages today. You are too busy with the work you have to spend time clearing out all the spam calls. If it is a real call about work, they’ll call back. This point is in direct contrast with the one above about being the first caller
back to a customer, but either one will help you go out of business.

I know a company that hadn’t paid taxes in three years and never heard a word from the government. Don’t be a chump sending in those checks to Uncle Sam; pay when they chase you and then you can negotiate a discount anyway.

Don’t do a pre-employment physical or drug screen. Ask the guy if he can lift a 60-pound piece of aluminum. If he can, he’s hired. Don’t do a drug screen either. What someone does on their own time, including lunch breaks, doesn’t impact your business. What’s wrong with a couple of cold beers on a hot day anyway?

Bottom line. If you’re trying to lose your business, these are the down and dirty ways to do it. I hope your next business, cleaning chimneys, is as enjoyable as your glass venture.

Paul Bieber has more than 40 years’ experience in the glass industry, with C.R. Laurence and as executive vice president of Floral Glass in New York. He is now the principal of Bieber Consulting Group LLC and can be reached at paulbaseball@msn.com. Read his blog on Tuesdays at http://usgpaul.usglassmag.com.

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