Small Business Know How

Last Update: June 24, 2016

Before going into business most people have worked for someone else doing technical work. They were paid for a skill. For example, bus driver, secretary, nurse, administrative officer and hairdresser. In my case teacher.

Does that apply to you? You are good at what you were being paid for but you were doing it for someone else.

One day, for any of a number of reasons your employment ended.

As a result, you decided to start your own business.

I have always wanted to have my own business. I saw it as freedom. So I decided to have a go.

I am skilled at teaching reading and mathematics and I can write. So the business that matches my skills is a tutoring business. I saw the development of the Internet and my long term view was to establish an online tutoring business.

I was warned by a successful former teacher, who had left teaching as a young man to develop a personal development business, that I may not succeed because I was used to being an employee.

“I’ll be fine,” I thought, hopefully.

I was to a certain level and then I hit a brick wall. My one-woman business, where I did all the work, was not financially successful. I was earning a lot less than I did as an employee.

I had developed a low paying job for myself!

Business building takes a lot more than having a go.

An entrepreneur is someone who sets up a business and runs it. The saying is you work on your business and not in your business. It is a fact that most small businesses don’t work.

The failure of start-up businesses is staggering. 40% fail by the end of the first year. Of the ones that survive 80% fail within five years. The failure rate for online businesses is the same.

This means most small businesses don’t work even though their owners do. However, they are usually doing the wrong work.

I am not giving up. Fortunately, I am earning enough to live on so I have decided to really analyse my business.

Recently I took some valuable advice.

It was suggested I read ‘The E-Myth Revisited. Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael E Gerber.’ The E stands for entrepreneurial. I hope you seek it out and read it.

The error of my ways became abundantly clear.

I have to get information out of my head.

  • I must determine my primary aim for developing my business. I can do this by asking: What do I value most? What kind of life do I want to live? How will this life look and feel? Who do I wish to be?
  • I must have a clear statement of what I want my business to do for me. This is my vision.
  • I have to develop structures and record them. Where am I accountable? Who is assisting me and how? I must keep written records.
  • I must have checklists outlining step by step all the tasks involved in the business.
  • My customer must come first. I have to find out what they want. It is probably completely different from what I think they want.

My business has no systems recorded. It’s all in my head!

I must write a business plan.

Gerber says, “You must analyze your business as it is today, decide what it must look like when you finally get it the way you want it, and then determine the gap between where you are and where you need to be to make your dreams come true.”

I have learned to value my membership of Wealthy Affiliate because of the vision and support given by the community.

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paulgoodwin Premium
So many things to do and not enough time as this is the problem that faces us all
Marilynm1 Premium
So true Paul. I struggle with overwhelm too often.
JudeP Premium
Valuable info, thanks for sharing it :)
Marilynm1 Premium
Thank you for commenting Jude. Best wishes Marilyn
Marilynm1 Premium
Hi Jason. Yes you do have to change your mentality. The book is well worth reading to help you do that. There is a great case study in it that makes the business principles clear. Keep going. It is worth it.
Best wishes. Marilyn