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The 10-year Challenge of Being a Small Business Owner

Many small business owners in the trucking and heavy-duty parts industry that I speak with are all dealing with the same type of issues. They started their business so that they could build a better life for themselves and their families but somehow they find themselves working longer hours and for less pay than when they worked for someone else. 

The dream was to have freedom and flexibility but that didn’t happen. Instead, they find themselves in a nightmare that is anything but freedom and flexibility and there seems to be no way out.

Can you build a business that doesn’t require you to work in it every day?

When the business is new, small business owners are often overwhelmed by the challenges of growing their business while having to do all of the actual work which includes everything from driving and fixing the trucks to the bookkeeping, sales, and marketing.

After years of hard work they often face issues of being unable to grow past a certain point or they face personal issues like a family member getting sick and they are torn between taking care of their personal affairs and taking care of their business.

Did you know that some people assert that only 4% of businesses make it 10 years? Business owners who survive the first five years (the time period where as much as 80% of businesses fail) often call it quits shortly before or after their 10th anniversary in business. The reason is basically that the owner is completely burnt out. They just can’t keep up the pace anymore and they end up selling or closing their business.

“Work on your business, not in your business.” – Michael E. Gerber

Every successful entrepreneur transitions from the start-up phase where every job is done by the owner to the position where the business can operate profitably without the owner’s direct involvement in day-to-day operations. The challenge, of course, is making the transition. This is an area that I have been researching for years and have applied many of the lessons I have learned in my own businesses.

One of my businesses after 3 years.

These pictures were taken by me because I was not working in my business with the guys but was working on my business taking pictures for our website. If you would like to accomplish this goal of owning a business that operates independently of you the owner, I suggest that you do four things:

Step 1: Read books about business systems. I highly recommend Michael Gerber’s E-Myth series of books and his trade school for entrepreneurs called Radical U.

Step 2: Do research on your favorite franchise. Personally, 1-800-Got-Junk inspired me but you may find inspiration in the movie called The Founder about Ray Kroc and McDonald’s.

Step 3: Develop a plan. Follow the steps outlined in the E-Myth. Establish a Primary Aim, Strategic Plan, Organizational Structure and then go to work on creating systems in your business. A great tool for this is Process Street.

Step 4: Start replacing yourself. Out of all the basic roles in your company, which one are you the worst at? Work towards hiring someone who is really good at that job as soon as possible. Using virtual assistants is a great place to start, I suggest that you reach out to FreeeUp. Use the time you spent on this role to make your business more profitable. Repeat this process until your entire business operates profitably without your direct involvement in day-to-day operations.

Achieving the goal of building a business that really works predictably and more importantly profitable without your direct involvement in day-to-day operations is a journey that will take months or even years to accomplish.

In my case, it took us 5 years of hard work and a merger with great business partners to get our exterior building cleaning company to that level. Pure Pressure is headquartered in the Greater Vancouver Area and we live 1000 kms away in another province. I work full-time as an Independent Sales Consultant and Podcast Host and everyday Pure Pressure operates without my direct involvement in day-to-day operations.

Now I did this with an exterior building cleaning company, but I could have done the same thing with a heavy-duty parts store, a fleet, a repair shop, or even a mobile repair service. It just happened to be an exterior building cleaning service that was available when I got started in business for myself.

Don’t feel that it can’t be done with your business. Regardless of what aspect of the trucking or heavy-duty parts industry you work in, I promise it can be done, and if you learn the principles behind building a systems-centric business and you are dedicated to the process it will happen.

If you would like to have assistance with this process please feel free to contact me for a FREE no-obligation consultation, you can reach me by going to the contact section of my website by clicking here.

Did you know that I host an industry-leading podcast called The Heavy-Duty Parts Report?

Listen to episode 27 entitled:

The Tale of Two Spring Brakes with Rick Deane of MGM Brakes

Disclaimer: This blog article and description may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, Jamie Irvine (d.b.a. Irvine Sales & Service and The Heavy-Duty Parts Report) may receive a small commission.

Author: Jamie Irvine

Jamie Irvine is the host of The Heavy-Duty Parts Report and a sales consultant that works with manufacturers, distributors, and SaaS companies serving the heavy-duty truck parts industry.

View all posts by Jamie Irvine »

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