Born on July 30, 1863, near Dearborn, Michigan, Henry Ford created the Ford Model T car in 1908 and went on to develop the assembly line mode of production, which revolutionized the industry. As a result, Ford sold millions of cars and became a world-famous company head. Ford’s mission was to make owning a car both practical and affordable for the average person.
As entrepreneurs and hustlers, we sometimes need inspiration, motivation and most importantly – solid business advice on how to create and run a successful business. Below are 3 advice we can learn from Henry Ford’s life as one of the greatest inventor and entrepreneur to ever live. Enjoy.
1. Fail Forward.
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
Henry Ford was a meticulous inventor. He showed extreme care about minute details and this gave his investors cold feet. Just like almost everyone else, the investors – people who would put money down for Henry Ford’s automobile to become a success wanted things done NOW and FAST but Ford was a man who liked attention to details and although a good trait, this made him fail as he was unable to find solid financial backing for the automobile in his first two ventures.
On the first occasion, the company Ford was part of dissolved due to the investor’s inability to see the big picture, becoming restless and according to them – Ford wasn’t providing results. On the second venture, the business stumbled from the start because the investors set unrealistic expectations from the beginning and pressured Ford to prepare the automobile for production even though Ford thought it wasn’t time and he got wrote off the company. These two failures could have been career-ending, but Ford continued. Several years after the second parting with his second investors, Ford met Alexander Malcomson, a coal magnate with a risk-taking spirit like Ford.
Malcomson gave Ford full control over his production, and the company introduced the Model A in 1904. For Henry Ford, failure did not hinder innovation, but served as the impetus to hone his vision for a technology that would ultimately transform the world ( Intellectualventures.com, 2016)
2. Focus On Quality.
“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.’ – Henry Ford
With the advent of the internet and the speed at which the world is moving now, it is very easy to be in a rush to bring out a new idea or product without taking time out to ensure its of great quality. Most startups or entrepreneurs just want to smash and grab. You may be familiar with my post on Understanding The Meaning of QUALITY For Your Business or Quality: “The True Meaning Of Quality” Rant by Daniel Damilola Nejo where I try to explain the true meaning of quality by great quality gurus.
Since Henry Ford knew his name “Ford” would be associated with his company, he made sure that whatever automobile comes out of his assembly, it was of great quality. He never undermined quality. Even after his death in 1947, The Ford company still operates on Quality as a strong hold in the company – It can be seen in this statement gotten from their website “Quality is responsible for driving continuous improvement for the Ford and Lincoln brands to deliver top quality products and services to delight our customers.”
3. Treat People Who Work With You Right.
Imagine for a second that you start getting paid double what you make right now or maybe double what the industry pays for your skills and expertise? I bet you would be happy as hell, more committed to your hustle and be the best at it. That was Henry Ford did to his employees.
During his time, the average factory worker was making around $2.34 and Henry doubled it, he started paying his employees $5 which was un-heard of at that time. He also reduced the work day by one hour. It was recorded that the next day after the announcement was made, thousands of people [motivated and willing to work extra hard] lined up at the factory to start working at the Ford factory, this improved employee productivity and also placed the employees in a position to afford the automobiles they helped build. (although this point has been argued on Forbes )
Now, it is important to point out that money isn’t the only incentive to get people motivated and happy to work for / with you to build a great business or product. The idea or main goal here is to create a scenario where people are motivated and happy to work with you to achieve the big picture. Businesses today have poor company culture.
I have a post on my experience with a London based business with very poor company culture and Gary Vaynerchuk’s take on Company culture and how it plays a crucial role in a business’s success. read here Company Culture – An Instrument To Employee Productivity
I hope you found any or all of the above useful. If you did, please ensure to make use of them or share with friends and If you have contributions, please share with me below in the comment section.