Monday, December 5, 2011

Business Survival Pep-Talk

Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that's exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking.

Anita Roddick

That's what it feels like - like being born into battle, landed like a wet heap on the floor after a few comfy months and facing a long summer when the market goes quiet and the savings are ebbing.  Entrepreneurs adopt a sort of bloody mindedness about priorities in every aspect of life that costs something. Everything  is under review, in the act of paring back scant resources and pushing forward priorities. Things have to be said directly and honestly and brutal decisions made, for a business to take shape and get momentum.

Pure survival. For 3 hours driving back up to Quorn from a weekend break in Adelaide I thought long and hard about what I can do to generate more income to keep going. Thoughts about going to China to complete my MBA are fading fast, think what $4000 could do in my business! I don't want to give up damn it, I won't give in with this much invested. Database marketing, write letters send out those fliers. Get that website up! Jesus, how can you run a regional business without one?! every week it's not up, I'm losing around $1000 I reckon - potentially.

My chiro and physio - both small business owners while treating my body this morning gave me the pep talks I was looking for, advice and support coming from unlikely places:

You need start-up capital to support your business, have you considered a loan? 

I got great advice from so-and-so in Adelaide and he turned my business around in 3 years when it was going down hill. We bought a house that was too expensive and we had negative income when I started. I had an accountant who said 'yes', now I have one that says 'no' and tells me why, and he's the one who has helped me turn it all around...

How did you get your income up and running? I spoke at schools, told people what I did and how I did it, not why I was the greatest. You guts it out, develop your nerve. You will never have the security that a salary gives you, you leave it at the gate to do what you want.

I chose to market not through advertising, but word of mouth on solid reputation. his is a longer path, be prepared to go hungry, and work long hours. I wanted customers who would come back again, not the quick fix.


  1. Corporate America is looking for serious people who have a mix of both IT experience and business acumen along with the "big-picture" thinking.

    Norton 360 for small business

  2. Well Stephen Collines, tell Corporate America that Regional Australia will meet it behind the pub at half past Happy Hour to slug it out, cos it sounds like we're after the same thing....!