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Henry Ford – Ahead of His Time

Posted November 3rd, 2012 by bbsadmin & filed under General Business, Motivation.

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Henry Ford was an innovative businessman who started many of the improved processes still used today. Here are some things we can learn from him

1. Offer a product of service which is helpful to people

Henry Ford once said, “Wealth, like happiness, is never attained when sought after directly. It comes as a by-product of providing a useful service.” For Ford his useful service was not simply manufacturing many cars, it was making cars more affordable for customers. This is the helpful service that made him wealthy. People who are in business with an eye on nothing but profit will miss out on customers. Businesses which have the ability to see the customer’s perspective will see profitability as a natural result. It is about adding value to the lives of others and the price people will pay for that added value.

2. Efficiency and Productivity

One of his most famous accomplishments was his mastery of the assembly line. He was able to make automobiles more affordable by lowering production costs. Efficiency is more than simply doing things quickly with fewer mistakes, it is also about inventory control and meeting market demand. Business people who think like Henry Ford will cut costs and increase quality by making an effort to implement techniques of operation management.

3. “There are no big problems, there are just a lot of little problems.”

This philosophy explains much of the success Henry Ford had in his use of assembly lines. How to manufacture a car with minimum production costs which can be sold at an affordable price is the big problem, while the little problems which make up this big problem are the pricing, timing and quality of the details which make up the car. Business people who understand this principle are able to digest big problems by breaking them apart into the small things which they are comprised of. They are able to Prioritize each small problem and thus be able to take care of the larger ones.

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4. Don’t sell yourself, or your business, short

Henry Ford said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” he also said, “There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.” It is “common sense” business that a manager or owner cannot easily rise above his or her own expectations of the business unless it is simply a luck of the draw. Even then, it is up to that person to act on the opportunity of the unforeseen success.

5. Keeping employees loyal by treating them well

He created the “$5 working day” and implemented taught employees important principles (Ford). His philosophy was, “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.” The greatest business leaders have learned the art of relationships. They know that the dividends of an employee that feel appreciated is higher than the leverage of criticism. It is in our nature to be appreciated.

6. Energetic problem solver

Ford was a man of great energy. The application of his problem solving skills helped develop the assembly line in his manufacturing plan which helped cut costs and make it run more efficient. He has said, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” And “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” He also said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it” and “Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.” Business leaders must have their “thinking caps” handy. They must push their mental capacity to its capacity. This is especially important now days. Since the recession, businesses have been looking for ways to cut costs and take market share. If you want to not only stay in business, but thrive you need to be like Ford develop the problem solving skills which are unique to your business.

Notable Quotes

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.”