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The 10-year challenge of being a small business owner

So many small business owners that I speak to are all dealing with the same type of issues. When the business is new they are often overwhelmed by the challenges of growing their business while having to do all of the actual work which includes everything from operations to bookkeeping to 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. So how can you build a business that doesn’t require you to work in it every day?

A little-known statistic is that only 4% of businesses make it 10 years. Business owners who survive the first five years (the time period where 80% of businesses fail) often call it quits shortly before their 10th anniversary in business. The reason is basically burning out. They just can’t keep up the pace anymore and they end up selling or closing their businesses.

As old adages go this one is so true:

“Work on your business, not in your business.”

Every successful entrepreneur transitions from the start-up phase where every job is done by the owners 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 then I suggest that you do four things:

  1. Read books about business systems. I highly recommend Michael Gerber’s book the E-Myth – Revisited.
  2. Do research on your favorite franchise. Personally, 1-800-Got-Junk inspired me.
  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
  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 Canadian Virtual Gurus. 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 a sales professional and have started this BLOG and everyday Pure Pressure operates without my direct involvement in day-to-day operations.

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 our blog by clicking here.

Author: Jamie Irvine

My name is Jamie Irvine and I have been a Sales Professional since 1997 and an Entrepreneur since 2009.

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