What is the Mikey Factor in Your Small Business?
Back in 1981, I was just starting my career in television production, and working as the Unit Manager on a location drama. One day, I learned a lesson that would serve me well some 20 years later, when I came to develop a small business. The lesson that I learned in 1981 was that any small detail can really screw up a production. This is how I described it in my book entitled “Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare”:
One day, one of the lighting guys wasn’t feeling well and left the set early. At the end of the shooting day, word was sent out to the set from the production office that the call time for the following day was being moved up from 7 a.m. to 6 a.m., because the production had fallen behind schedule, but the lighting guy didn’t hear the announcement because he had gone home early.
And you, as the Unit Manager, didn’t think of calling him at home to inform him of the scheduling change.
Ordinarily, that might not be a big deal, but this time, it was.
Because -the next morning, as the convoy of production vehicles was pulling out of the television station to make its way to the set – a small town about an hour north of the station -the huge lighting truck remained in place – and a bolt of white hot terror ran from the top of your head down to your toes, as you realized that the driver of the lighting truck was still in bed, because you hadn’t thought to call him to tell him about the change in call time.
Soon there would be 40 people standing around on the set while the lighting crew was waiting for the truck to arrive so that they could set up for the first scene- and whatever time they had hoped to pick up by virtue of the earlier call time would be entirely lost.
So you got into the truck yourself – and without a license to drive a rig that big or any idea of where the gears were – you willed the vehicle to the set – sweat pouring down your face -and you never forgot how that felt, for the rest of your career in television production – or the rest of your life.
The fellow whom I forgot to call was named Mike, and everyone called him “Mikey”.
Forgetting to call “Mikey” almost ended my career in television production before it began.
But the lesson that I learned stayed with me -and so, when I was developing my small business, which was a spa for men, I made a list of everything that I felt could go wrong – every single small detail that I could think of – that had the power to ruin my business.
And I checked that list every single day.
If you are developing a small business, or if you are already running one, ask yourself “What is the ‘Mikey Factor’ that could ruin or damage my business if I forget to do it. Is it insurance, a security system, labor regulations or building codes?
It takes a lot to make a business successful, but the smallest details can make it fail.