(click to watch video)
Rettig Sessions #1: Business Turnaround Talk
hosted by Hunter Mariano
Business and Tech Talks Video
Hunter: All right. Thank you, Patrick, for this time. Patrick Rettig of the Rettig Corporation, serving businesses around the world in need of turnaround. I think I heard you served over 800 businesses.
Patrick Rettig: We took a stab at that number man, I don’t know. I’ve been doing this a long time and when you think about how many businesses per year times how many years I’ve been in business. It’s a lot, it could be a little less, but it could be a lot more.
H: Well you’ve been around the block to know quite a bit so what we’re gonna do today is ask a few questions. Hopefully, you can enlighten us and answer a few questions, we’re gonna dive right in. Well actually speaking of that, 800 businesses is a lot of businesses and there’s an average I read, I believe it was the Motley Fool posted this thing. Twenty percent of all small businesses fail within the first year. And by five years, fifty percent. By five years you’re just flipping a coin according to these statistics. Now, if that’s the case, in your experience, what would you say is a number one reason why this happens.
P: I get that question all the time. What’s the number one reason why corporations fail? It’s a really good question, but if you’ve been on my side of the desk for a long time, the answer becomes more and more because we’re human beings. And we want more and we don’t like the law. We sort of cut corners where we shouldn’t.
H: Beat around the bush.
P: Maybe we pay our taxes not on time, maybe we don’t make our bank payments on time. The bottom line is knowledge gets in the way, stubbornness gets in the way, greed gets in the way, human being gets in the way, and then oh yeah, life.
P: Gets in the way. So, I think the bottom line is you can’t do this by yourself. You have to have partners that understand what you’re doing. And you have to have a sort of a small team of people around you that get it. You can’t be the accountant and the owner of the company. You gotta have an accountant that knows what he’s doing. Not a guy that flunked out of school fifty times and he’s giving it a shot for eight dollars an hour. That’s not the guy. And for those of you that flunked out eight times, sorry but we hear when we have the responsibility of a business. You gotta have people around you that know what they’re doing. You have to have a bookkeeper, a CPA, a salesperson, you have to have someone that can do odd jobs for who knows what around the company. You have to have an IT guy that understands computers and what you need and you yourself have to accept the fact that as a company owner you don’t just get to do what you wanna do. Like if you’re a car mechanic, you don’t just get to be a mechanic. If you’re a plumber, you don’t just get, you have to administrate the company. So if I had to say it in a short word, we’re human beings. There is a lot of knowledge that needs to happen and we need to accept that knowledge. When we don’t, we get in trouble.
H: Do you think a lot of these businesses that are failing don’t have all this sort of infrastructure of employees?
P: Sure. And they don’t pay them either I mean small businesses don’t have the money to do that. So if you’re thinking I’ll save the money by doing this job myself or that job myself when actually you’re costing yourself in the long run. You’re actually, you’re actually destroying your business if you don’t have people around you that help you and direct you and by the way, the big one, keep you accountable. Now I always talk about taxes and taxes are really what snag people up because we don’t wanna pay them. You know, people fudge on their tax returns and they get in trouble, and fudge on payroll and EDD and sales tax. Those are all bad ideas and those are the things that really take people down and of course, the worst one, charge cards and the interest on charge cards. Ultimately these challenges hit people and all of us can get help. These are all problems that can be solved. That’s why I have a job.
H: Yeah, you help these exact situations. You insert yourself, you start helping.
P: Oh yeah. Yeah.
H: Well that leads right into the next question which is, you talk about surrounding yourself with employees, with people that are gonna help just the overall cause of the business and just building that infrastructure. Another thing that you and I have talked about and I wanted to touch on it a little bit with this question is employee relationships. They’re your employees, you’re the boss but I know a lot of times certain friendships develop.
P: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
H: Now what would you say about can a boss be friends with his employees. What is your take on that?
P: I’ll use you and I as an example, okay? We get friendly and friends mixed up. Or shall I say respect and friends? You and I are friends and if we were gonna do a business together, I would own it with you. So that we are both responsible. Because if I make you an employee of something that I’m doing, I am responsible for everything and now your family and what I do affects your family. I have to remember that. I have to remember that I’m large and in charge. And my employees are gonna try to make me happy. They may not know what’s best for me. I’m the guy that’s supposed to know. So being friends with your employees… I would say respect your employees. Remember that they are counting on you. Always try to know more about your business every day so that you can pass that on to your employees. Making your employees equal with you is a very dangerous thing because they don’t know what you know. And they’re not supposed to. They’re supposed to know their job. So be very careful with that but like I said if I used you and I as an example and we decide to sell lamps. If you’re a partner with me we’re an equal shareholder and if you make if we make ten dollars, you make five. Well actually if we make ten dollars we take two dollars off the top for expenses, a dollar for three dollars for taxes, a dollar for mistakes that we’ve made, see they’re stationary. By the way, by the end of the day the people don’t really realize the owners company come home with not a lot of dough. But we are lucky enough to have, to be entrepreneurs in this society. Long story short, being friends with your employees is a slippery slope. Respect them as people who are counting on you. So you must know your jo, you must be able to take care of their needs as an employee. And sometimes do the hard work which says hey Bob we’re not gonna do it your way. I’m responsible for the company and your way doesn’t sit right with me. We’re gonna have to do it my way if that’s okay with you Bob let’s get back to work. If that’s not okay with you Bob, I’m gonna have to understand and I understand that your place perhaps is not here.
H: It’s a touchy subject.
P: Tough, tough, tough. Especially with good people.
H: Yeah. Well, I appreciate you mentioned that one. That question comes up a lot. You also mentioned family and the third question really is perhaps one of the most important things. Figuring out that balance between work and family. A lot of times people say what comes first? Business or family? But what happens a lot I think is you know people are getting kinda they fuse into the business inevitably or somehow conflict arises. I think the question really is just what, how should the time and effort be diversified to best avoid conflict in this sort of business, family, work-life balance relationship.
P: Wow, man. Impossible right?
H: Good answer.
P: Impossible, right? It’s impossible. I mean who’s gonna get, somebody’s gonna get jacked up right? You gotta make the decision. It’s never popular all over the place. Your wife’s not necessarily for it, your husband’s not necessarily for it, kids, your employees, the IRS agent, your customers. There’s so much, so many people that just stick to the straight and narrow. It comes down to health, you better be in good health, you better be eating right. You don’t think right when you don’t eat right. You know people I haven’t had time to eat, I haven’t had time to sleep. That’s a dangerous CEO. Trying to put family first, it’s hard to do if you don’t have someone with you. I got to point out that I help people all the time and the stuff that I talk about is common sense and it’s really not so common. And as a people left alone we’d be very stupid and stupid is very expensive. I can say to a guy, dude if you run up this charge card right now, how is that gonna help your family? If that guy says well I’ll be able to pay the charge card back sooner than later, I know that’s not true. I have experience and all of you listening to me know that you can charge on a charge card you never pay it back. It’s a mess trying to pay back charge cards, right? Ok and so the family is gonna suffer, right? Mom goes to the grocery store, the charge card is maxed or it’s been cut off. Let me say that what your question has brought up to me is that is what I teach. The balance has to be there every day, every hour. Without someone there rallying you on, look I can only take so much business. It’s not like this particular show that we’re gonna do today. If it brought me to it, I can only take so many customers because it’s such a personalized thing that to get people off the ground and to stay there. And once, if I can even use this as a conclusion, learning to balance your life, to live correctly, that’s the gig. And how you do that is with someone who knows how to do it. At the end of the day you want so much, we all want so much but the real, true peace of mind is to be able to continue, not to have your dream torn away from your life because you made mistakes. To be able to continue. The question you have balances is an hour by a minute by minute, hour by hour and reactive management is never good. Like this happened, I have to do this. This happened, I have to do that. Rather, being prepared, having the right infrastructure that you said, having the correct relationship with you know. You’re starting your own business, that’s how we got this and the stuff that you will learn from this is simply common sense is not so common.
H: I want to make clear too, you help people. Like this is what you do, you help. You go in and you help the people in trouble, so for those who are watching that need help, how can they get in touch with you?
P: You know, I have a website, the Rettig Corp dot com. R-e-t-t-i-g and you can call me. 7-6-0-6-6-2-9-6-6-8. I want to point out something as long as we got the cameras rolling. I get people back to second chances. I get everybody back to a second chance. Everybody who wants to do the hard work and most everybody wants to do the work. They want their stuff. The key, you can play this back fifteen thousand times, the key is if you get a second chance, what are you gonna do with it? You know if what I’m saying is sort of ringing true for you and it looks like perhaps you have a problem, don’t waste any time. Hit the like button and leave a comment or call me at 7-6-0-6-6-2-9-6-6-8 or look up the Rettig Corporation dot com. R-e-t-t-i-g. Don’t waste any time when you’ve got problems, it honorable. It’s honorable to bring in someone who knows that you can be the hero you were meant to be.