No Taj Garage

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Executive Summary

Building a business is ultimately about dollars and cents. You’ve got to not lose money to stay in business. Here’s some advice for those in business or thinking about going into business. Spend less.

I thought you had to make money.

Most people think that in order for a business to survive, it must make money. Well, that’s not true. You can lose money and obtain loans (look at someone like Tesla or Uber) or you can even make no money and stay in business.]

How do I make money?

It’s simple, right? Just make more than you spend. Well, everyone would have their own business if it were that easy. Putting the money part aside, there are hundreds of variables in the equation for successful business. Business owners contend with people, embezzlement, people, weather, people, politicians, people, business development, people, and often times even luck.

Money is sexy.

When I had my construction business, we won this small roadway job for the State of Hawaii doing shoulder repair. It was a silly little job I thought, and one day I went to the field to tell my much-older-and-wiser foreman who had had his own construction company that this job “wasn’t too sexy”, but that it was his to run. His name was JD and I’ll never forget what he said in response: “Scott, you know what’s sexy? …Money.” he said. It was far from an ego response; it was a survival response. He had had a business and knew what it was like to keep it alive, and that money was necessary to do that.

No Taj Garage

I went today to schedule vehicle repair on my 2006 Ford Explorer and there was only one guy there, standing in the parking lot. I learned when I started talking to him that he was the owner of the shop. It was neat because he runs radio commercials and I had heard him plenty of times there. Anyways, he shared with me that he regularly seeks the advice of a business advisor, specializing in the auto industry. He carried with him that his advisor preached to him that his shop should not be a Taj Garage; this meant it didn’t have to look fancy and have pretty floors, et cetera. His facility should be designed to fix cars, collect payment, and turn them back out the door.

Easiest way to save money is not to spend it.

I’ve relayed this saying for years and you may have read it in another article, but it’s simple and true and fits perfectly right here and now.

My Story

Those anecdotes above were my story. I’ve got my own business today and still try to spend as little as possible, but enough to make the experience for me and my employees special. And fun. And worth waking up for each morning.

Work Safe!

[1] Information taken from on December 4, 2021. TTM = Trailing 12 months.

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