3 Mistakes Tommy Boy Made That You Can Learn From For Your Startup
|July 23, 2012||Posted by Louise under How To Start A Business|
The following is a guest post by Allie Blankinship, a freelance writer and consulting analyst who is fascinated by business and finance. In her free time, she is teaching herself to code.
A sleeper hit, this movie was panned by critics, but ended up a commercial success. As the movie unfolds, it chronicles what happens to a family business (Callahan Auto) after the owner passes away and leaves it in the hands of his slow witted, socially awkward son, Tommy, played by Chris Farley. The plot is filled with intrigue, suspense, life lessons, unexpected plot twists and, of course, lots of hilarious moments. It showcases a series of business missteps made by Tommy that put the family business on the brink of disaster numerous times throughout the movie.
Even today, the movie is still a fun rental if you’re looking for a laugh. But believe it or not, it can also provide some great business lessons. Here are three of them:
1. Don’t forget business insurance to protect your assets
In the scene where Richard collides his car with a deer, the incident destroys a company car. Without business insurance, this event could’ve been more disastrous than it already was. Depending upon what type of business you are running, you might need business insurance. Be prepared. Do you have appropriate coverage for your business assets? Consider different types of insurance, and get multiple quotes. BusinessInsurance.org is a good place to start. When it comes to insurance, many believe it is better to be safe than sorry. The alternative is running the risk of a lawsuit or other financially devastating consequence that could blindside your business.
2. Prepare, plan, research, educate yourself, and do your homework
As with anything, preparation is key, and nowhere is this more true than when you start or acquire a business. Tommy has drank, partied and slacked off for pretty much his whole adult life. He knows very little about the family business. Granted, he was “thrown into” business ownership after his father passed away suddenly; however, Tommy had been working for the company already, and should’ve been better informed. He also could have sought advice and consultancy to help smooth the transition and get him up to speed once he took the helm.
3. Choose the right business partner(s), associates and collaborators
Tommy and his father’s assistant Richard did not get along. Richard, played by David Spade, is a childhood friend of Tommy’s who has been long-jealous of Tommy’s knack for somehow getting through life being lazy and irresponsible. In business, make sure you choose partners with a good work ethic and with skills and talents complementary to yours (note not “identical” to yours — but complementary.) Ideally, your business partner or partners will already have deep industry knowledge, or a willingness to learn. There should also be a basic respect between the two of you from the start. Trust, plus the ability to communicate, go a long way in any relationship.
Indeed, wisdom can be found in unlikely places! Remember these three lessons from Tommy Boy, and your business is sure to benefit.
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