Well I’ve got this guy I want you to meet. His name is George Cloutier. He’s a Harvard grad that Business Week dubbed a “Turnaround Ace” and his focus has always been on small business. Actually, you may not even need to hire him, just read his book.
His national best-selling book is called Profits Aren’t Everything, They’re the Only Thing. The book includes “The 15 Rules” that George Cloutier’s consulting firm has used to turn small businesses on life support into profit-making machines. His success with helping small businesses is immense. In fact, in the first chapter of the book he talks about how his firm has helped more than 6,000 businesses in 300 industries. His company has identified more than $1 billion in additional profits for those clients.
So why wouldn’t every small business want to hire Mr. Cloutier’s consulting firm and get their share of the $1 billion in extra profits? Good question. The answer is that these kinds of profits come with a price.
For example the book suggests that you should work seven days a week, never pay vendors on time and give up golf. Are you ready to make those commitments or do they make you feel like maybe profits aren’t everything?
If these measures sound extreme, they are. Cloutier says you only have to make the hard choices if you want to be successful in business. If you want to have life balance, start a non-profit he adds.
The majority of Cloutier’s clients are family businesses. And two of his 15 Rules are specific to them: Love Your Business More Than Your Family and The Best Family Business Has One Member. As harsh as that seems, Cloutier says too many family businesses mix family issues into the business and in the majority of situations they fail. The first of those rules states, “Your cell phone is for taking orders from clients NOT grocery lists. Weekends are for work. Pray at your desk if you must. Your business is not a part-time job. Be there or be broke.”
There is no doubt that much of Cloutier‘s advice is challenging and even scary. Still, the book is both entertaining and thought provoking.
George Cloutier, a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, founded American Management Services in 1986. The company’s web address is www.amserv.com
Article By Paul J. Welsh
Interview was conducted by Jay Liebenguth