Aha Factor Blog

Small Business Does Not Work

I am an advocate for small business. My passion is help business owners become more successful, make more money, add value and enjoy themselves at the same time!

It’s fair to say that small to medium enterprises [SME’s], do employ the most people.

So why would I start with a headline like this one?

Because that’s exactly what a business owner said to me this week.

I let the conversation unfold – after all he had engaged the services of more than one business coach in recent times. Had these coaches failed? Were they no good at their job? Did they just take the money [fees] and run?

Probably not.

The truth is, in the business owner’s experience he is now barely breaking even, and will most like fall below his breakeven point in the near future.


‘The economy’ stupid!

The business is twenty years old – and has been in the current ownership for the past five years. Custom walked through the door, why spend too much on advertising and sales [marketing]? Raw material suppliers were happy and the business added margin to the raw material as well as add value.

That has all changed. Sales are down. Competitors are discounting to get business. Raw material suppliers now sell to the end user who then gets the value added component only. So there’s a hefty reduction in profitability. You can begin to see the downward trend. Oh, in addition new players have entered the market – dumb you might think, but the reality is that the pie is getting broken down into smaller and smaller pieces.

Some of the players undoubtedly will survive; others will go to the wall.

Our business owner believes it is not cost effective [especially now] to go out and drum up business – so he waits.

Deep in his heart he knows [at least perceives], that unless ‘the economy’ picks up sometime soon that he may not have a business any more.

That’s why ‘small business does not work’

In his model of the world he is right – his belief is, sooner or later, about to become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Success in any venture or undertaking starts with the right mindset. A little bit of passion helps. As do plenty of energy, a good [but flexible plan], a proactive approach and getting to understand where your customer is coming from.

Also many of the decision makers these days are in senior roles at an age unheard of just a few years ago – they THINK differently, are not always bound by the old models, are prepared to take risks and will not always accept that what worked in the past is the best pathway to pursue now.

Of course the fundamentals of business and life do not change – but given that these are in place, then the rules are subject to change today, tomorrow and the next day!

Undoubtedly many business owners are experiencing tough times – how many are now on the balls of their feet like a prize fighter dancing around looking not only to avoid the next punch, but more importantly to land one or two for themselves – going for the knockout?

Attitude determines your altitude.

No one says it’s easy – it never was, but the world is full of people and businesses that somehow found a way through the tough times and became successful again!

How do you plan to manage things right now?

Maybe having a few mentors or coaches or other business owners to talk things through, to share ideas even form a [proven system], Mastermind Group is a great way to start

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