Small Business Owner Goes to Heaven
Bob, a burned-out small business owner, drives home one night after another hectic 14-hour day. Exhausted, he downs some aspirin and collapses on his bed.
Suddenly, a peculiar sound awakens him, and he finds himself face-to-face with a bearded stranger. Now in panic mode, Bob reaches for his gun, only to find it’s not in its usual place — but then, neither is Bob.
“Where am I,” he wonders, as the bearded man begins to speak.
“Don’t be afraid, Bob, I am Peter, your escort out of the unhappy life you’ve been living! For your own good, I’m taking you to Heaven.”
“Heaven?” Bob shakes his head, trying to make sense of what’s happening to him.
“Yes,” says Peter, “Heaven’s a place you’ve often dreamed of. However, due to unforeseen circumstances — some you brought on yourself, of course — you really don’t deserve to go there!” Now Bob’s knees are shaking.
“HOWEVER,” Peter continues, “Thanks to somebody out there, you’re HERE! And I’m going to give you a first-class tour of the place!”
Heaven’s Tour Begins
Bob, our small business owner, is still shaking as he follows Peter through a mammoth gate; up a well-paved path to a beautifully-landscaped building. Stunned, Bob sees a large, expensive sign with his own business name on it — BOB’S PRINT & MAIL INC.
Perplexed, Bob excitedly follows Peter through the front door, into an expansive lobby, filled with tasteful furnishings, and relevant décor, reflecting Bob’s industry.
Immediately, Bob senses the unusually peaceful atmosphere, and notices the office personnel going about their work effortlessly. Surprisingly, every desk is completely clutter free; not one item out of place.
“This MUST be heaven,” Bob declares. Peter smiles knowingly.
To be sure, this place is in sharp contrast to Bob’s business back on earth. Back there, his office atmosphere is tense, and the office staff stressed to the max, handling a constant stream of production problems. Bob is amazed, remembering his earthly business: unhappy customers calling daily with legitimate complaints, while everyone launches into RUSH mode, trying to fix recurring problems.
For the first time, Bob is fully aware, and begins to ponder the WHY of it all.
WHY is it so peaceful here, compared to his business back home?
Heaven’s Tour Moves to Production
“We must be moving along, time is growing short,” Peter tells Bob, whose mouth has been wide-open throughout the tour.
Abruptly, the doors to the Production area open into the brightest and cleanest production facility Bob has ever seen.
“How is this possible?” Bob gasps, barely able to contain himself. “Oh, my G … uh, sorry! But, will you look at THAT!”
Suddenly, all the storage cabinet doors swing open with a heavenly swoosh, revealing the most organized display of tools and other production supplies he’s never seen. Every item in the cabinets is in clean, clearly-labeled bins; not ONE item out of place.
Bob runs, almost dances across the production room, pointing out to Peter that there’s no clutter on the floors or work tables; in fact, no clutter anywhere!
“What’s happening here?” Bob is almost giddy now. Not only are the floors bright and clean beyond what he thought possible, but all production machines are immaculate and operating at top efficiency.
Bob notices that all the workers have pleasant smiles with no signs of stress, much like the front-office personnel — unlike the daily UN-CIVIL war in his shop back on earth. Amazingly, managers are doing their own work without interruptions from others.
“This whole place operates like a well-oiled machine, without my having to be here!” Bob thinks to himself.
“Yes, we pride ourselves on that,” says Peter, knowing Bob’s thoughts.
Thunder-struck, Bob watches the workflow move with precision; jobs packaged for on-time shipment; delivery trucks coming and going; and all with meticulous ease.
This heavenly operation is nothing like Bob’s production facility on earth. There, lighting is gloomy due to burned-out bulbs no one bothered to change. Crumpled paper, tools, job tickets, drink cans and other unidentified objects clutter his entire facility.
Heaven’s Tour Comes to a Close
“Yes,” Bob confesses to Peter, “my business back on earth was a pig-sty.”
“Come,” Peter says, “It’s time to go,” as he leads Bob out the door, down the path toward the company gates.
Bob hesitates, “But, I thought I was going to stay here and take ownership of THIS place — after all, my name is on the building!
“Bob,” Peter says, “You didn’t pay the price to take ownership, much less, be here!
“Truth is, Bob, to obtain THIS heaven, you must be part of building it. Moreover, as the leader, you must be willing to spend time organizing, designing, planning and building, no matter the opposition! More importantly, you must work toward continual improvement.”
“Yes, I see that now,” Bob laments, “My business is not just about ME! It’s about my family, my employees and my customers.”
“Bob, your business is your stewardship, to usher in a more heavenly sense of order. What will you do with it?” Peter seems to be fading away now.
Suddenly, Bob hears a familiar voice calling him.
“Wake up, Bob! Joe called from the office,” Bob’s wife shakes him. “Joe said that big job that was supposed to ship yesterday has a big problem; something about needing to scrap the job?”
The too-familiar mad scramble begins, as Bob gulps coffee and dry toast; not to mention, antacid tablets, and heads to his earthly business.
Small Business Heaven | Count Me In
“Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but no one wants to die to get there!”
In like manner, many Small Business owners want a well-organized business without the chaos, but they don’t want to pay the price to get there!
Therefore, they must be WILLING to search out a proven business process management solution. Then commit to taking the time to implement it, even if it means a little pain at first! Happily, you’ll discover there’s a permanent FIX for the frustration and disorder you’re experiencing.
However, if you’re not willing to commit for the sake of a better, more prosperous business, the outcome may be — DOA!
Did I mention? Great systems work!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.