On my way to work each day I pass a section of car dealers known as auto row. Four large dealerships were built side-by-side. Because of the wide array of available new and used vehicles, car buyers have been attracted to this area for many years.
Dealerships included Pontiac, Saturn, Chrysler/Jeep and Toyota. Every one of the dealerships is now closed. Chrysler downsizing and the elimination of GM's Saturn and Pontiac car lines caused those three dealerships to close. Toyota moved several miles away to be in another auto row location. The empty buildings now stand as a quiet testimony to the good days that once were.
Those dealership owners, sales people and auto mechanics were capable, trained and experienced people. They lost their jobs because of decisions made by distant manufacturer executives who had little or no concern about individual local workers. Obviously the economy played a role, but in the final analysis individual dealership employees had no system in place to prevent the loss of their jobs.
Fortunately for the security industry, most of us own our individual locksmith businesses. No lock manufacturer will be sending you a letter stating that you must go out of business. If anything, manufacturers are more than happy to help locksmiths in any way possible to sell more lock products.
This freedom is double-edged. While it is much better to not be concerned about distant executive decisions, each of us has a responsibility to keep our locksmith businesses on the right course for success. Owners of small businesses are both executives and employees.
As each year comes to a close, people often use the expression, "Have a happy and healthy new year." I spent some time in the hospital during December. Health is now very important to me. Similarly, the health of your business is just as important. Start the year off right. Learn some new skills, make sure every type of job you accept is profitable, and set your business on a course towards a happy, healthy tomorrow.