View Full Version : Why did your friends business fail?

06-05-2009, 11:53 AM
Have you had friends that started businesses and failed?

What kind of business did they start and why do you think they failed? What would you have done differently or what did you learn from it?

06-05-2009, 04:13 PM
Well several of my friends have been given great opportunities to start a successful business, but they lacked a few things.

To offer a service, it has to be needed. It just can't be some fun dream job idea. Many of my friends believe they can pull anything off, I tell them to put down the beer & do some research.

Also, choosing the right time to launch a business is crucial. Even if your idea is insane, there is always a time for it. We can't advertise lawn service in winter, but be can do snow removal & invest into lawn service.

Another thing many of my friends don't have is self support. None of them have the mindset to run a business. They can't take the initiative in turning the key in their cars, someone needs to do it for them. They aren't willing to get dirty, even if a shower is promised after.

My friends become overwhelmed when a problem pops up, they run away instead of thinking how to fix it.

I have a friend who worked at McDonalds, he quit McDonalds because it was too hard for him. He wanted a job where he could work with me, because I would protect him the best I could. The company I worked with hired him, & I was to train him.

He thought he was on top of the world, until I told him we aren't friends right now, & if he expects me to be easy on him he mind as well go back to McDonalds.

In his mind, he was happier having a friend yell at him, instead of a stranger. Even if I watched him like a hawk & yelled at him every second, he didn't give up. As a friend, he wanted to impress me, & become friends while at work. He learned that he'd have to get his act together, to make things easier & more comfortable.

So he learned that he would have to become independent & reliable, not forgetting patches in grass or forgetting to lift or lower his wheels, remembering to bag his mower etc, in order for us to get along & have a smooth day.

That is what business is like, I believe business will be hell until I learn to control it. Once I control it, I believe I will be on a joy ride.

My friend now gave up his job because he was useless during snow removal, & he moved away, with his girlfriend at her parents home.

She is now pregnant, they are both jobless, & he wants to come back & work at McDonalds. Now, if he pulled his own weight & kept up the good work. He would have more money in the bank, & he could have been a great helper in my company.

So sometimes we have the choice to overload ourselves to the point we could either give up or push forward. If he pushed forward & stuck around for snow removal, he would have had an opportunity, a career & be able to support his family. He gave up, and now he has nothing at the worst possible time. His choice to quit burned a bridge, closed a door that will never open again. He is silly, & lazy. He wants to live in a bubble forever. His attitude will destroy his life, & now that his bubble is gone, the chance of him ever gaining that comfort back is lost.

06-05-2009, 04:59 PM
I have a few friends & I'll tell you what they've tried out, including myself:

Scott 21 Years Old:
Lawn Service - 10.50/hr
Pharmacy OTC Manager, 15.00/hr
Day Care Monitor, 9.00/hr
Rotisserie Cook, 12.00/hr
Short Order Cook, 10.00/hr
Pharmacy Crew Trainer, 16.00/hr
Personal Trainer, 60.00/hr
Breakfast Cook, 15,00/hr
Video Game Tester, 9.50/hr
Renovations, 12.00/hr
Lawn Service/Snow Removal, 9.00/hr

Friend #1 21 Years Old:
Paper Boy, $5.00/hr
McDonalds, $8.50/hr
Knife Salesman, 100.00/month
Computer Guy in training
this friend has no backbone, school is a shell to hide under for him, lazy.. It bugs me the most, because he is in fact my best friend. When I ask for help, he gives me lame excuses, useless scum.

Friend #2 20 Years Old:
Super Market Butcher, 12.00/hr
Mechanic, 15.00/hr
Snow Removal, 9.00/hr
Super Market Butcher, dunno
this friend has a huge brain & tons of potential, the downside is that he's really lazy & work is his last priority. I'm sure if he stuck with something, he could become successful.

Friend #3 23 Years Old:
McDonalds, 8.50/hr
Lawn Service 9.00/hr
Wallmart, dunno
this friend is a lost dog, he needs someone to hold his hand. We have all made a decision & realized that he just might be handicapped, with all jokes aside, he is very slow & not all there.

Friend #4 22 Years Old:
Lawn Service, 8.50/hr
Convenient Store, 9.50/hr
this friend is hopeless, he'll be living with his parents forever while he plays computer games all day.

Friend #5 21 Years Old:
Telemarketing, 10.00/hr
Owner of a Telemarketing company
this friend was going to partner with me, & we would start BREEZE together. We both got kicked out of school at the same time & had to find work, & working together sounded great. It's too bad I couldn't trust him, I didn't want to argue or watch ourselves fail over his stupid decisions. He has no experience in the field so I told him I'm going solo. We are both leaders, & to work together would cause too much friction. He now owns his own business, & he's pretty successful at what he does. Though he has no friends, his family is gone, & now he is one lonely young guy. I hear from him once a year, & now I never hear from him. He was into scamming people, the most evil telemarketer ever. Apparently several companies have now been raided & owners arrested. Could he be one of them? Hmm..

The reason I believe I have more power to start a business over my friends, is because I left school & tried several things, learning how to perfect myself in several jobs before I stuck with one. I still managed to get my high school leaving papers a few years after leaving school.

06-05-2009, 05:52 PM
Have you had friends that started businesses and failed?

What kind of business did they start and why do you think they failed? What would you have done differently or what did you learn from it?

Many, many, many and as a former banker I have seen many good business's fail.

Generally it is due to not sticking to the financial plan, poor financing, lack of working capital, marketing research was off.

The #1 thing that I have seen kill a business is growing too fast, spending way beyond the means of the cash flow, borrowing without thinking it through.

It's a balance and it takes a lot to make a business successful, as an owner you have to have a big tool box of skills to pull it off.

06-05-2009, 06:30 PM
Have you had friends that started businesses and failed?

What kind of business did they start and why do you think they failed? What would you have done differently or what did you learn from it?

Yes, quite a few!

1 Jerry - Jerry started a personal protection business selling personal protection devices. He bought a great deal of Tear Gas devices. some on keychains and others that were larger. His demand was great. Unfortunately, he didn't check the business out before jumping in (he spent about $2,500.00 on product) only to find out they were illegal in the state. His marketing program directed the police right to him. He now has a Stanley Steamer business and is doing well.

2 Joe - Joe started a disc jockey business. Started out with plenty of small jobs. Did wedding receptions, parties, etc. Joe unfortunately could not run a business anywhere they served alcohol. Nuf said.

3. Susan - Sue started a house cleaning and maid service. At first she did all jobs herself but soon grew beyond he capabilities. She set up a second service vehicle and then a third. Financed the best of the best equipment and hired personnel. Sue was not an organizer and a poor judge of people. Both of her hew workers were caught stealing! She never recovered.

4 Jim - A CPA. Had the training, the credentials, knowledge. But, Jim was not a go getter. He couldn't manage his time, or his lack of ambition. He is still a CPA but he works for someone who tells him what and when to do the work. He was opposed to working more than 40 hours per week especially for himself.

5 Steve - Steve's Quick change. Steve took over his father's repair shop. Saw quick easy money doing oil changes. Steve was lazy! He opened about noon and rarely ever stayed after 5. If he wanted to go hunting, well, he just didn't open. Missed appointments, turned business away if he thought it was getting late, and never opened on Saturday. He had the business but didn't capitalize on it. By the time he paid his utilities, insurance, taxes there was nothing left.

With the exception of Jerry, all did not have the mindset, the ambition, or the commitment to run a business. You have to research the business, investigate the people you hire, be committed, and be willing to put in all the extra effort required. Running a business isn't a 9 to 5 operation. Continue your education, emulate those who are successful, and align yourself with other such businesses - like this forum.


06-05-2009, 06:32 PM
Many, many, many and as a former banker I have seen many good business's fail.

Do any stories stand out in your head that you could share with us as examples?

06-05-2009, 06:40 PM
Do any stories stand out in your head that you could share with us as examples?

I have a close friend that started an electrical business, man he is a go getter and a work until you drop kind of fellow, personality plus, lost his business, home and eventually his wife left, his issue was quite simple, he could not say no, got in over his head and his receivables were out of control.

Scott is another friend, very good deck builder, he bought so much gear the first year that he didn't plan for the winter months, had no cash, lost everything.

My X had a friend that started a book keeping service and she knew her stuff, work was bang on, her personality however turned people off, I personally didn't care for her much, not sure exactly what it was but man she just rubbed people the wrong way.

I should have added receivables in my first post, that after giving this some thought is the number 1 business killer I have seen.