This is good. In these times of inflation and global economic instability many of us need extra income. Your own small business may be the best way to do this.
No small business is perfect. This is why they remain small.
Is this comment too simple? Too obvious?
Profound might be a better word because many people fail to start their own small business because they ignore this small business reality. They think that their small business should be perfect on all fronts.
This is wrong!
Two readers recently sent the notes below. Let’s thank them. Their comments can help us share a really vital point about having your own small business.
The first reader wrote: Gary, If you’re touting your expertise in writing as one of your lucrative businesses, then you should at least proofread the information you are sending to draw interest in your seminars. There are several typos, reducing your credibility and raising my suspicion. $750 for two days in the Blue Ridge Mountains – are you really legitimate or should I be thinking, “caveat emptor”? Discriminating reader on the internet superhighway…
The second wrote: Gary, You seem like a bright guy. Can’t you figure out how to make your links clickable? It’s bad enough that your emails look as ugly as Hillary Clinton but at least you could make it quick to get off them. You do good work that looks like hell.
These notes highlight the small business reality about the flaws in my small business that leaves me (and you can too) laughing all the way to the bank.
No small business is perfect. Most successful small businesses are very good at one small product or service and just get by with everything else.
Take Merri’s and my small business as an example. This message was written September 14, 2008 and we just finished doing our 2007 corporate tax. We never seem to have time to get down to this until we asolutely have to
While doing these taxes I found unopened bank statements from early 2007. They should have been looked at 18 months ago.
My desk is usually stacked with stuff, “to do” that often never gets done. There is always a huge pile of books and articles laying behind my desk on the floor, “to read.”
Our accounting system is primitive. Our efforts in that direction can be pretty much summed up in seven words; “Is there more money than last month.”
Except once a year…just once…now…when we do our taxes. Then we take a hard look at our profits which are usually pretty good in part because…we keep our prices very low compared to our competitors in part because…we are not paying out wages for book keepers…proof readers and or graphic designers.
Our business planning is never more comprehensive than the paper napkin it’s written on.
Our market testing stinks. For all intents and purposes we do not do it. Everything is from the gut and seat of the pants.
My graphics are horrible. When we had a print publishing business I was known as “Mr. No Graphics.” We never advanced beyond 8 1/2″ by 11″ white paper and black ink. Nor did we try. Our graphic design bill for all our web sites is zero!
In the print business, I had one logo (that cost $50 in 1985) that never changed.
Proofreading does not always get done. Merri was executive editor for years
of the award wining Gulfshore Life Magazine. She is as good as it gets and always asks to edit everything…but if 25 delegates are arriving and 15 more want to know how to get to Cotacachi from Quito and the message has to be posted, I cheat and post it without letting her proof read it..because…she is busy with the core.
Core is the key word in small business reality. Stick to your small business core.
Is it right that we miss all these things? No. Our flaws keep our business small. I have a friend who started his publishing business same time I did. His business now has dozens of subsidiaries and sales of hundreds of milions a year. He is a great marketeer and manager.
I hope he is happy. I thin so because empire building is him.
Yet for Merri and me and for our many readers, our business works.
What we do do…every day..always…is what we enjoy…our small business core. We:
#1: Get out that daily message 365 days a year.
#2: Make sure our course delegates who arrive overseas are met at the airport.
#3: Do our research.
#4: Fill all our orders personally.
#5: Make sure our bills are paid and that we have no debt.
#6: Go for a walk, eat right and get a good night’s sleep.
#7: Look within (meditate) to better see what we should reflect out.
Amidst the billions of people on earth there are a few (we have about 15,000 of them) who prefer what we view as authenticity rather than slick graphics.
There are a few who are more concerned with the substance we provide than syntax or spelling.
Your small business does not need the entire world…unless you do.
Are the weaknesses in our small business good? No.
Should they be corrected?
No. We should always try to improve our business but the focus on perfection should be on the small business core.
If I hire a proof reader get a book keeper and put a graphics designer to work on all our websites, I would raise my prices and stop being a writer. I would have to take time away from my research and become a manager or stop getting messages out every day. I would have to raise my fees.
The areas where we try to focus our growth are always aimed at getting better data and experience, having a better understanding and being more helpful by sharing in more meaningful realistic ways.
Merri’s and my system works for us and our readers. Our system is designed to find readers we can satisfy and easily shed those who are not.
Flawed systems work. Ours has brought us a great income, has enriched us materially and spiritually beyond our imagination and we have loyal readers who have been with us for years.
This message is not meant to condone our flaws but to highlight that every business has them. Do not let the fact that you cannot be everything stop you from starting your own business. Concentrate on your strengths and passions. This is enough.
This is why we recommend that small businesses turn their owners passions into profit. If you figure out your passions and create a business around it you’ll attract like minded souls who love what you do.
They will not be bothered about your speling errors.
If you have hesitated to start your own small business because your are worried you might have some flaws, stop worrying !
Your business will have some flaws. This is good if the flaws come because you focus well on your small business core.
Until next message may all your flaws be good!
Learn more about how to have a small international business at our email course International Business Made EZ or attend one of the three courses below that can help you create your own multi currency business. See them below.
Join us at our Farm in the Blue Ridge. Here are delegates at a previous course with Thomas Fischer and me at our seminar hall on the farm.
Join Steve for our Import Export Tour. Here is a couple who have set up their own roving export business from this tour.
November IBEZ. Here are delegates enjoying Ecuador’s winter sun in our open air courtyard during a course coffee break.