The Australian Small Business Blog

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Business Start-up Story Part - 4

The First Year Milestone
by Dr Greg Chapman, MBA

This is a further update of client Alan’s story about his start-up business. Here is the summary Alan sent to me of his first year’s progress (adapted to ensure his anonymity – after all, we don’t want his clients to know he is a start-up!)


I am on schedule in my first year, to match my full time corporate salary of last year. I am pretty happy about this because:

1. A big fear at commencement was that I would have to take a big pay cut in my first year. This won’t happen.
2. I have actually worked less hours than I would have worked for a boss!!

Somehow, by good luck, some 'misfortune' (corporate job loss), a little bit of planning, some decent coaching, some (very) wobbly initial steps and a gradual gain in confidence and faith, I am on target to match my corporate salary of last year!!!

I must admit this is somewhat of a surprise. It's been bit of struggle and I must confess it's been a little frightening at some small stages. Leaving a great corporate salary, supporting a family with 2 little kids and experiencing worrying times through a family member's personal financial hardships. All this whilst embarking on my business start up has proved a challenge to say the least!

I have now listed my goals, actions and a process of monitoring for Accountability

Funnily enough, I have noticed that unless you write things down there's a good chance that nothing will happen. Pretty much everything you have been telling me from Day 1 ! It's all about the F Word: I must and will Focus on Marketing.


I've learnt a fair bit about marketing and sales. The biggest lesson has been to focus, set designated times to do things and to get into an unbroken routine. Sounds pretty simple, I know, but how many people do it?

I am finding that getting leads is not a problem for me. In fact, I have more leads than I can adequately handle, i.e. to undertake the phone call, send letters, follow up etc etc. Therefore my Lead Generation is very very good at this stage. Also my Leads are Targeted.

All this gives me great confidence going into the second year.

For anyone who has been in business for any length of time, Alan’s epiphany is obvious. For people just starting their business, this doesn’t sound like the answer, but take heart from Alan’s success’s to date, and KNOW you can do it too.

There will, of course be more challenges for Alan in the years ahead, but he now knows what he doesn’t know and can focus on those issues. He has survived the toughest year in any business – the first, not that there won’t be other tough years in the future, but he has now built a confidence bank on which to draw to meet those challenges.


May Your Business Be - As You Plan It.
Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.

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Dr. Greg Chapman is also the author of
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