GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: There are no small companies; Paul’s start up story

by Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

There is no such thing as having a company that is too small. No matter if you are the smallest of all, a one person operation, you can still handle yourself professionally. You can still do things the right way and poise your company to grow primarily because of great customer service.

Okay let’s go exploring…some ideas, that is. Here’s the scenario, you’re working at a job you don’t like, you’re not making much money and the boss is a jerk, but hey, it’s a job so you go in every day and you do what you have to do to get that paycheck. You gotta eat right?

Now, because the boss is such a jerk, he screws up the business and goes bankrupt. He’s done, the company is done, and you’re done, no job and no prospects. That’s about as bad as it gets. What are you going to do? Oh, did I forget to mention that unemployment is over seven percent…there are no jobs out there!

You don’t have much, but you do have, your health, your energy and your ambition. If you have those things and you are willing to work. Here is a sure fire, yes, I mean sure fire way, to not only make some money, but also work for yourself. You offer your services to homeowners you will simply do whatever they need you to do. No, this is not a made up pipe dream of an idea, not at all, I know two people who got started exactly that way.

Let’s take my friend Paul, for example. The scenario I started this column with was exactly his deal. This is what happened to him. And this is what he did when he found himself unemployed through no fault of his own. Keep in mind that old adage, “when a door closes, a window will open.”

He sat down and evaluated what he could do, what services he could offer. He knew he could provide unskilled labor to homeowners. He could provide all the services that the professionals could not or would not do. He decided to hire himself out as a handy man, he could clean out attics, and cellars and take the junk away. He could wash windows, he could clear brush and clean out yards, he could fix and paint fences, he could seal driveways, he could haul junk away. He could do minor repairs on a house, he could paint the house, he could do all the jobs that are too small to call the pros to do.

Then, once he had decided what he was going to do, he went to the library, used one of their computers, and created a neat flyer, made one hundred copies for just a few dollars and went to the various neighborhoods in town passing out his flyers. He made sure the flyers were well-written with a clear definition of his services and, of course. how to get in touch with him.

In a matter of days, his phone started ringing. Now remember, he had not even been unemployed long enough to get an employment check yet and, by the way, he also was looking for a job all this time, too. He was covering all the bases. But honestly, in a matter of two weeks, he was getting more orders than he could handle.

And he was in business!

Now I’m not saying he wasn’t a bit lucky, but remember the old saying… “the harder you work the luckier you get?” Well that was Paul’s deal, and he had, in a matter of days, started a small business with nothing more than optimism, ambition and some creativity.

But stay tuned, this is only the first chapter of Paul’s small business story. We’ll visit with Paul again soon and talk about how he grew his business.


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