Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Your Business Just Had a Heart Attack, Now What?

Unless you’ve been on a 6 month cruise, you’ve already heard that IBS, the parent company of several major modular home brands is about ready to file bankruptcy. That is sad for the modular home industry in general but if you are or should I say were one of their builders, you must be feeling a lot of mixed emotions about it.

But honestly, outside of what could have happened in any industry, what part of your business success did you owe them? They produced the modules that YOU turned into a new home. They were a manufacturer that delivered a product to you, yes, a very major part of the home you build for your customers but there are plenty of other manufacturers that could have built those modules for you. You just chose and stayed loyal to an IBS company. That was a good thing to do at the time.

Like a heart attack, there were warning signs but if you chose to ignore them or just brushed them off without thoroughly checking to find out if they were healthy, then that burden is squarely on your shoulders.

Some builders will take offense to that statement but honestly, if one of your parents or children had symptoms of an illness, you would take them to the doctor and have them diagnosed. Then you would take care of them and hopefully they would get better or if the news was bad, you would begin making preparations for that outcome. There were warning signs.

The first step to resuscitate your business is to honestly assess the situation and begin to find out what is really causing its incapacitated state. Have customers given you deposits that you no longer have because you either gave it to the factory or spent it on business expenses? Did you wait too long to take action and now the factory is in its final days and you blame them for everything that is going wrong?

You need to step back and really take a hard look at EVERYTHING and I mean every part of your business and ask yourself which parts of it were damaged. Were they irreparably damaged to the point that it may force you to close your doors? Probably not. Were they damaged to the point that it will take you time, energy and maybe quite a bit of money to repair? Yeah, that’s the one.

So what are you waiting for? Are you still looking to the factory to call you and say, “Hey, we were wrong and we’ll be back in business tomorrow.” The time for that call came and went a long time ago.

Now pick yourself up and start doing what you did when you first got started in your business. Do a full workup of what you are still doing quite well, what you can improve on and where the hits will come from.

The next step is to grab the defibrillator and put some energy back into your business. “Clear!” Zap… What can you think of that will re-energize you and your employees, bring back that old faith your customers had in you and get the excitement back into running a successful modular home business. The IBS problem will still be there and you will have to face it every day for quite some time but you’re business shouldn’t suffer while you do.

The final step is major surgery to remove the elements that are plaguing your business. It’s time to get excited about being a builder again. Of course it won’t be easy. What made you think being a new home builder would be.

It’s a learning lesson. A not very pleasant one and for some it may mean that the patient died but it is a learning lesson nonetheless and in a few years you will look back knowing that if you could survive that heart attack, you can survive just about anything.

Life lessons are a bitch but now is the time to get up from your desk, stop listening to today’s rumors and begin rebuilding your company and your life. Get excited about something other than what is happening or not happening at your factory. You have absolutely no control over that.

You do have control of your own business and wouldn’t it be great to put the defibrillator back on the shelf.

As for IBS, like you, I keep hearings rumors about what will happen next. Hopefully the rumors about them reopening under new and stronger ownership will come to pass and eventually they will rebound and be leaders again.


Anonymous said...

Amen Brother!!!

Anonymous said...

I know you're right but I still want to blame them for everything that has happened.

One of the hard workers said...

The factories didn't give the builder a shell to "turn" in to a home. Your not giving the hard working people credit where credit is due. Sales, processing, purchasing, engineering, quality control and the men and women who put everything together. It takes a lot of work now a days to turn someone's dream in to reality.
Yes management is to blame and the builders are faced with moving forward but down blame those who are now out on the streets. As for IBS, they caused this we don't want them back.

Coach said...

Dear Hard Worker,

I agree with you. The unsung heroes of modular housing are all the people you mentioned. This article was targeting the builder.

And I must apologize to you and every other factory employee for not recognizing the work and dedication along with the craftsmanship into every home that goes through the production line.

Without you there would be no homes sold or built.