Home-Based Business – The Four Bodies

In the grand tradition of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First” there is a business joke that seems to turn in on itself and leaves you wondering if you’re able to follow what’s being said.

“This is the story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. Consequently, it wound up that Nobody told Anybody, so Everybody blamed Somebody.”

I didn’t write the story above and I’ve heard it performed in other ways, but the main point to the somewhat humorous story is that when there are multiple employees it is possible there will be a significant amount of passing the buck.

In a home-based business this scenario cannot play out as easily. Why? Because it is likely that one person performs multiple roles in the small company. That person must own up to mistakes because there is no fall guy waiting to take the blame.

Customers won’t care about Everybody, Somebody, Anybody or Nobody. All they really care about is whether the person in charge is going to take care of things.

I have a friend who purchased a piece of exercise equipment. He lives in a remote area and accepted the extended service contract because it was pointed out that the service is in-home and anywhere within his home country. Within 24 hours of professional setup the machine was malfunctioning.

In the case of my friend he waited for over two months to gain service. In each case the telephone representative passed the buck. In the end, my friend demanded to visit with a supervisor and promised that a complaint would be filed with the Better Business Bureau if there weren’t a plan of action within 10 days. It wasn’t long before Someone stepped up to the plate and made plans to have the equipment repaired.

While this reflects poorly on the manufacturer it should also serve as a cautionary tale for home-based businesses to do what you promise to do. Assume the responsibility required to place the customer first and take care of problems as they arise.

Remember Anybody could do it, Somebody should do it, Everybody thinks it should be dome, but in the end Nobody is the only one to show up – and he can’t do a thing.

That just leaves – you.