My Business Plan PDF Print E-mail

Tom PhotoI suppose our business started out as unremarkable as most excavating business'. Likely, more desperation than sound planning. When you discover that your dream of becoming a professional athlete is rather misguided and that working on a farm, although offers the most wonderful environment both socially and aesthetically, doesn't quite provide the necessary financial resources to make you feel warm and fuzzy about taking on a wife and house and children, well you panic and buy an old backhoe at an auction sale on the coldest December day you can imagine and for a brief moment, just before that chilling thought of "what the heck did I do that for" grips you, you feel like you finally have your destiny firmly in your grasp.

Well then you get lucky. Your future wife's brother has a project in the spring and it lasts just long enough that you now know how to operate your backhoe. Then a friend of your father has a new building going up so you get to learn a little more and you meet the plumber on site who becomes a valuable customer for years and the superintendent on the neighbouring job needs some help after work, so you help him out and he becomes a future customer and all of a sudden you are out of control.

Then you start making mistakes. You buy a bulldozer, which of course forces you to buy a truck and trailer to haul it around because you never took the time to figure out that you couldn't just drive it down the road like you could your backhoe. And so it goes. An opportunity requires an excavator, you haven't learned your lesson, so without thinking you go out and buy one. "Hey I've got a lot of stuff sitting around everyday, I should hire somebody to make things easier." Oh brother!

The banker lady calls me in. "Tom, I would like you to prepare for me a financial plan for your business." I wanted to tell her how good I was in gym class at high school and how economics seemed to get the best of me but I wasn't quite sure I was applying proper context. I also wanted to settle the issue right there and now because I had a lot of work coming up and didn't see myself having time to come back for a visit real soon. "My financial plan remains the same as it has always been. I get out of bed at 5:30am, I work till about 10pm, then I try to get my invoicing done by 11 so I can watch a bit of the news." She rolled her eyes and looked heavenward, which I took for a good sign, sort of an acknowledgement of revelation on her part.

The real problem with this industry is there are so many nice people. I never met a salesman I didn't like or wanted to disappoint so buying machinery became a way of saying thank you for having such an interest in my life. Customers as a rule have been fantastic. Oh there are a few here or there that forget to send you a cheque after the work is done, I appreciate that because those are the ones you can never get on the phone. They must be very busy. As a rule though, we have been truly blessed with good customers. People that we are pleased to have a meal with in our home or to meet in a restaurant. People that are honest and that make us feel that we are on the same team , a part of the solution, not the problem.

And so our business grew, not too large but large enough. We are in a great industry. Oh you get dirty and you pull your back muscles out once in a while, and then there is sun stroke and frostbite, but at the end of the day you can look back and see what you've done and feel good about it. That's one thing my dad told me, take time to appreciate your work.

Mary my wife, runs the office now with invaluable help from Dianne. My oldest son Reuben is working with us this summer during his college break. We have what I think is the best bunch of employees you could imagine working with us. Some long term fellows with all the tools. Some young fellows that you just know are going to be top notch some day. I think we'll be okay.

Tom Musselman

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To the visitors of this web site, it is with deep sadness that we inform you that Tom passed away on Sunday January 24, 2010, almost three years after being diagnosed with ALS. Tom’s business continues today through the efforts of his employees and his wife Mary. Tom will forever be in the heart of everyone who met him.

“He has told you O man, what is good: And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8

Mary Musselman & family