The accidental business person
Many small business owners are following a labour of love, a passion which has turned in to something that pays the bills, builds to something by accident and before you know it, that hobby or pass time has become something greater than the intended purpose you set out with.
Does this sound familiar?
At the training days we run it is becoming more apparent that the situation of the business owner we are speaking with is incredibly passionate about the doing of their work, the core competency if you like. Whether that be a tradesperson who loves been a plumber, a joiner, a roofer. It may be the craft person who is passionate about making hats, selling make up, art and photography: whatever they have grown up to love is what they do.
At times we speak with people who are inherited in to the business. ‘It’s what I’ve always done’, ‘it’s how we’ve always done it’, ‘my Dad showed me how to do this and it’s how I’ll always do it’. An ingerited business is great in my opinion, it shows legacy, a perception of quality in the doing of that craft. But what has changed in that time is how to communicate and position what you do in front of the right quantity of people who should know just how good you are at doing what you do.
“I woke up one morning and I was in business!”
Before you know it – you are in business! You are in business and therefore you have all that is associated with it; sales, marketing, planning, budgeting, accounting
Hang on, you didn’t sign up to this!
Michael Gerber, a legendary business and entrepreneur coach speaks in depth about the small business owners’ unique struggles in his epic book, The E-Myth Revisited and the follow up E-Myth Mastery.
One of the first books I picked up when taking the plunge in to building this thing called a business was the E-Myth Revisited and Jack Canfield’s 24 habits of successful people. I would go so far as to say they are life changing books in terms of mindset and mental approach to running your own business, littered with real life examples and case studies about the application of the principles within.
The roles of the small business owner.
The best business lesson you can learn. The roles your business has, even if the business is only made up of you!
If not you, then who?
I often reference the phrase if not you, then who, when speaking about competition within your industry, but this holds true also for the roles within even the smallest business. Accounts need doing. Marketing needs doing. Business logistics need managing.
Now, it’s ok if your name goes in each of the boxes above, the important thing to understand here is that the roles won’t go away just because you are a sole trader or small business.
You must give the business roles the time and energy they deserve if you are to build a business that works for you.
Why are you in business?
When you set out, or fell in to your business life, did you know that it was happening? What was your intention or goal for setting up shop as your own business person?
The goals for the smaller business are wide ranging and varied. Some people want to test themselves, some want to rule the world. When I set out in business I wanted to a) make sure I could support my family, and b) create something meaningful to my community and c) find the self realisation that I can create something that is truly my own doing: something that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for my commitment, drive and desire.
I think most business people need to take a step back every 3, 6 or even 12 months and make sure that the business you have is still supporting the goal in which you set out to achieve in the first place.
Many times, people I speak to are becoming lost in the busy. The heads down, strive to get busy at all costs, because getting busy is the be and end all….right?!
Inherited businesses are another quite common thread. The business that is handed down from generation to generation. A lot of trades business owners are like this. It’s great that the tools of the trade are handed down and continued, but it seems unfortunately that what also gets handed down are bad habits and outdated marketing techniques; the classic word of mouth business .
However you ended up in business it is vital that you begin with the end in mind. You must set goals, know what you want and have a plan of how you are going to get there. You must plug the skills gaps that depend on your achieving this be it through employing, outsourcing or learning yourself the requirements needed to deliver your goal.
0114 Marketing mission.
You are now a business person who happens to run a business selling your product / widget / service. You are not a widget maker who has a business. It’s ok to love what you do and run it as a business!
I believe that the marketing mindset is key to your business success. You must appreciate that perhaps the old ways of ‘doing it’ may have evolved. There are modern ways of marketing your business that one right can be incredibly efficient and effective for you.
Get your marketing on track with the Essentials and Pro Pack from 0114 Marketing. Small business marketing training from Sheffield.
For just £24.99 per month or a one off annual payment of £199 you can learn and apply effective marketing in your business. Combining real life marketing networking and training with digital resources and strategy, it’s the best place to build your marketing effectiveness in limited time per week!
No matter what your craft, trade or service you must get to grips with the supporting services and role you are responsible for. The good thing is, that in a modern marketing environment, marketing your business has never been more achievable.
You are in control of your message, your budget can be tiny, and consumers are wanting to buy more from those they know, like and trust, with more than half of UK shoppers preferring to buy local.
Knowledge isn’t power. Knowledge is potential.
You must know where you are weak and plug the gaps. The best decision I made was to get an accountant. I tried once to fill out a tax return for my first year in business. It was a nightmare, I ended up getting a fine and wasting so much time making error after error. The decision was made to find an accountant that could take this burden away from me free up time, and save me money, to focus on what I needed to do to productively grow my business.
Time vs money.
Did you know, a salary of £25,000 per annum is only xxx per hour per 8 hour working day. Doesn’t sound bad does it. £50k is just xxx per hour. Can you see the value then of your personal time too? If you value your time at £50 per hour for example, why are you spending time you can outsource at £20 per hour. You are wasting your time and money by not doing this!
By boxing clever you can build knowledge in the right places, apply better use of your time and make more money doing it! It’s a win, win, win!
New ways of learning.
We are spoiled for choice when it comes to information. There are 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute! What we are short of is an understanding of where that information sits within our business. How can learning about marketing help our business? We must have a semblance of a plan and apply what we learn in an effective way to imprve our business and build opportunities that lead to sales and profits.
Endless learning is great but please don’t become a serial learner, over flowing with knowledge that just isn’t applied!
Group learning is a great way to identify new skills, apply it in a relevant manner for your business and do it in a cost effective way too. By learning in a group setting, the facilitator is often (or should be!) an expert in that field and for one to one time to learn this will cost a whole lot more than your seat as part of a one to many setting.
This is where having an open mind to marketing is great. Take the knowledge but you must commit to applying and implementing your knowledge within your business!
Share your experiences.
It is important you share you share your mission and your experiences with others in a similar position as yourself. When I was setting up 0114 Marketing I knew there were whole groups of business owners working from their home, their home office, kitchen table and so on who would simply never meet other people to discuss their work, their troubles or event their successes. It was an echo chamber of one; head down, getting busy, work, work, work!
0114 Marketing is on a mission to change that and support the small business community of the Sheffield City Region to empower, educate and inspire small business to own their marketing message and become their own marketing expert.
Not every business needs, wants or can afford a full time marketer, but every business, big or small, needs marketing!Marketing should be accessible for all!
So we set up the Power Hour Network to help bring out of the woodwork those small business owners who can meet, learn and network with likeminded businesses and the supporting services from the city region.
Be sure to subscribe to the blog to keep up to date with marketing ideas and case studies to help your business for free. Join us at the next Power Hour Network in Sheffield and be sure to get on board the conversation on our Facebook group! 600 business owners from the Sheffield City Region supporting each other and growing together.