What can Small Business Owners Learn from Breaking Bad?

While no small business owner on Earth should necessarily be following the example of Walter White, the main character on the popular and award-winning AMC television show Breaking Bad, given how illegal all of his activities generally were, it should be noted that he was in some ways a very good businessman. For this reason, it may be possible for a few lessons to be taken from his tale.

Though White, played by Bryan Cranston, was a ruthless drug kingpin, he was also in many ways a shrewd entrepreneur, according to a report from USA Today. For example, one of the very first decisions he made when he turned to a life of crime was to start filling a hole in the market – albeit the drug market – and that’s a lesson that many owners may be able to learn from. For instance, if they can think about what they do in their industry, and what customers might want them to do in the future, owners may be able to start growing their companies more quickly than they had been capable of in the past, as innovation and finding new takes on old products or services will likely be quite valuable.

Moreover, Walter White was also very smart in how he approached his growing business, hiring employees at the right time and moving on opportunities to increase the amount of work he undertook when he felt capable of doing so, the report said. Having the ability to identify when it’s appropriate to take on more people or more work is vital for small business owners in general, as doing so at the wrong time can become prohibitively expensive, or end up costing the company business opportunities that might have otherwise been very lucrative.

Of course, there are lots of lessons to draw from what White did wrong as well, the report said. Apart from his involvement in a vast array of illegal activities, he also grew egotistical and greedy, not content to leave well enough alone, and overreached his capabilities as a business owner, so to speak, and resulted in the ultimate failure of his sef-described “empire.”

Owners who are interested in expansion efforts in the coming months may want to think about ways they can reduce costs, such as by finding more affordable small business insurance. Less expensive workers’ compensation or liability insurance coverage may go a long way toward improving a company’s bottom line.