dive boat was intended to provide a pleasurable lifestyle and source of
At first, everything went according to plan. The boat was in good condition.
John had acquired a solid reputation as a dive operator and the customers
kept coming. Skippers had to be hired but there was sufficient cash flow to
Then things started to fall apart. The new owner lacked an overall grasp of
the operation. He enjoyed going out on the boat but was not taking any
affective part in the operation. Worse of all, he relied on others to tell him
what was going on.
Maintenance work was neglected and that led to serious and costly
problems. The reputation of the boat suffered and the supply of customers
dropped off. He was unable to judge the reliability of his skippers and dive
staff. Good people deserted him and he was left with a substandard crew.
He sold the boat for a small fraction of what he had paid for it.
2. Don't place undue reliance on others
Of course you will need an accountant and you will need a solicitor. I'm not
suggesting otherwise. You'll need them to give specialist advice.
Accountants are good at getting tax returns in order and advising on loans.
Solicitors are essential when purchasing real estate. But don't let them tell
you how to run your business. You might have a different breed in your neck
of the woods. My experience is that accountants and solicitors are hopeless
in operational matters. They imagine that everything is achieved at the
stroke of a pen. In their world that might happen. You live in a different
If you are building a hotel, motel, lodge or whatever, you'll need an architect.
They are great at making buildings look right and some win prizes. The latter
are the ones to avoid. Prizes come at the client's expense. If the client is a
major company, that's fine. But, you are not a major company and your
building must earn money to keep the bank happy. Give your architects a
written brief and look critically at everything they come up with. Hunt for
ways to save money while achieving a pleasing result.
My next remarks are about people whose agenda is likely to be different from
yours. Indeed, it may be diametrically opposed to your interests.
Loan managers frequently receive commissions based on the size of a loan.
It may be in their interest to grant a bigger loan than you need even if that
places an unnecessary burden on you.
The first imperative of advertising agents is to look after Number One, as in
other businesses. They are very good at convincing clients of the value of
their services. Convincing the client's customers often takes second place.
You can waste a small fortune on advertising . Try to tag your adverts in
some way so that you can see what yields results. Speak with colleagues
and exchange ideas. Treat everything the advertising people say with
caution. After a while you should have a far better grasp of your market than