Alice wept for opportunity lost.
My father was a small business owner, he worked from six thirty in the morning until ten at night, every day of the week. He worked until the day he was diagnosed with cancer at the age of seventy two. He had big dreams of financial success and strove for it every day. The business provided him with the income to support our family, but there was no retirement nest egg for him to do the things he longed to do.
He never complained because he loved working for himself. But it could have been so much better.
Soon after my Father’s death I met with the owners of a Locksmith and Shoe Repair business operating in regional South Australia. Gregory and Alice had been referred to me by a government business agency for assistance to improve the profitability of their business. They were gentle people, active in their community and both worked long hours for a reward far far less then they deserved. In that regard they were the epitome of business owners.
Alice hardly spoke during our forty-five minutes together, at the meetings conclusion she wept.
I was taken aback and muttered an apology, for what, I was not quite sure. Leaning across from the chair next to her Gregory embraced his wife, gently kissed the side of her head and then motioned for her to stand.
“Come on darling we should be going, thank you Philip that was very interesting.” Alice looked at me and smiled.
“There is nothing to apologise for Philip, it’s just that I knew, I knew, there had to be a better way, if we had found out sooner it could have all been so different.”
I never saw Alice or Gregory again, and I never forgot them.
It was not unusual for people to show emotion in my office, I have cried with a client at the loss of a family member; tried to console clients forced to sell their family home; witnessed the despair that comes with utter frustration, and I have shared in client’s grief of separation and divorce.
But it was Alice’s tears, shed for opportunity lost, that have impacted me the most. For me those tears represent the feelings of so many that have toiled in business, including my father. Those tears drive me in my attempt to make a difference. Because I know it can be different. I know that because I have seen it.
This site exists to make a difference, to recover some of the opportunities lost.
We do that by giving owners the mindset, knowledge, systems, tools and support they need to build a better business.
*A business that works will pay market rate salaries to all owners; provide profit to the owners commensurate with a fair return on the capital invested and risk taken; provide opportunities for the owners to pursue interests and hobbies away from the business; provide owners with and exit strategy involving a termination payment upon retirement and a realisation of the value of the business.
Business owners will achieve an immediate and significant increase in profit and cash flow by implementing strategies outlined in the first two modules of the build a better business program.
Specifically owners will benefit through a fundamental and permanent change in management focus from sales revenue to gross profit.
Our members will understand accountability drives results. They will introduce higher levels of accountability within their business framework to ensure priority is given to strategic aspects of the business and performance relative to pre-determined goals is monitored, with appropriate response upon identification of variances.
A proportion of the additional cash flow generated will be committed to working with selected business advisors and accountants in ways not done so previously, including an investment in cloud based information systems providing timely and relevant information to management.
Business advisors and accountants will access the training offered from the back end of this website to enhance their business development skills so as to be better positioned to help their clients build a better business. Advisors will receive instruction in the principles of adult learning allowing knowledge to be more effectively transferred to clients.
Business owners will move away from the listen and forget advisory model and engage in activities that reinforce the messages delivered through the training available on this site and from advice received from mentors.
This site will reduce the cost of business advice through the provision of a foundation understanding of business strategy fostering a more productive engagement between owners and advisors.
I envisage the creation of an international business operating beyond my stewardship, and I see our members businesses operating beyond the stewardship of their existing ownership structure. This will create significant value for each person competing the build a better business journey.
A satisfying result will be that the combined efforts our programs, together with the work of our members and business advisors will be the generation of economic benefit for the communities we are a part of.