Small Business Myth #5: Make Yourself Indispensable

Written by Steve Winduss on February 6, 2016 – 12:56 pm -

Make yourself indispensable. That must be the key to a long and successful small business career surely.

We’ve all seen them. Strutting the office like a displaying peacock. Assured of the fact that no one else could do the job they do. It would be impossible. And therefore they are indispensable.

How wonderful. How wonderful that if they got run over by a bus this afternoon the small business’ vertical pipeline would come to a standstill because they were no longer able to carry out their work.

Ah yes you say but you have to think of No 1 first, yourself.  Make yourself indispensable and that small business will need you more.  And they will pay you more and love and nurture you.

Well let me tell you how it is from the small business perspective: They hate “indispensable “. They loathe “indispensable “. If there’s one thing they can’t abide, it’s “indispensable “. Read more »

Posted in employee, small business myths | 2 Comments »

Small Business Myth #4: I Don’t Need A Business Plan

Written by Steve Winduss on January 14, 2016 – 1:05 am -

How many times have I heard small business management tell me “I don’t need a business plan”? Let’s get this straight. All businesses plan. Whether they like to think they do or not. As soon as you order additional inventory or take on new staff in expectation of a greater workload, then you’re planning. So the issue is not whether you should plan or not, you can’t help but plan. The issue is how do you go about business planning ? The only businesses who may legitimately say ”I don’t need a business plan” would be small scale and steady state – in other words not growing in turnover or contracting. In such a case everything stays more or less the same week in week out. Thus all the information is probably in the proprietor’s head anyway and that’s fine. But as soon as growth or contraction is imminent, you can no longer say that you don’t need a business plan.  It becomes critical to make assumptions about how that growth is going to look and that means, you guessed it, planning. Let me put it this way. Let us suppose that I have in my possession a piece of software that allows me to input your personal details. And from that I am able to map out a model of the next ten years of your life. Wouldn’t you at least be a little curious? What if you could see that at the age of 39 you were going to die of sclerosis of the liver from excess alcohol intake. Wouldn’t you like to know that? Wouldn’t you like the chance to do something about it now and avert such a calamity? Read more »

Tags: ,
Posted in small business planning | 2 Comments »

Why Do Small Businesses Fail – Nearly Always?

Written by Steve Winduss on January 4, 2016 – 10:12 am -

Did you say “Why do small businesses fail – nearly always?”

Does that really mean that MOST small businesses fail? Ouch.

Like it or not, 75% of all small businesses in the UK fail within their first 5 years. So, why do small businesses fail ? Let’s take a look:

- Lack of experience This is either lack of experience with the main theme of the business or simply lack of experience at running small business.  Or both.  People who have good ideas don’t neccessarily run good businesses. “It’s my train set so I’ll drive the train” tends to prevail. Personally I would rather employ a train driver. a.k.a. The Intrapreneur.

- Insufficient capital This can be expenditure on capital items as well as working capital i.e. the cash needed on a day to day basis to keep the business afloat. Arises from a combination of poor planning, over enthusiastic sales estimates and lack of a contingency fund. Read more »

Tags: , ,
Posted in small business planning, small business startup | 2 Comments »

Yes, But What Is Network Marketing?

Written by Steve Winduss on December 7, 2015 – 5:08 pm -

Network Marketing, MLM, multi-level marketing. Whatever you call it it’s the same thing, but exactly what is Network Marketing and is it a viable business model?

I’ll be kind and give you a short answer and a long answer, take your pick.

What is network marketing ? – the short answer:

Network marketing is a particular type of business model which involves normal people like you and me (well, almost normal in my case…) selling a company’s products to friends, relatives and other contacts whilst at the same time encouraging those same people to take up the same mantle and sell the same products to their friends, relatives etc

This is building the network and your sales commissions are based on everyting sold within your network. Seems simple enough. If you’ve got the energy, let’s delve into this in a bit more detail. Read more »

Tags: , ,
Posted in network marketing | Comments Off

Focus On Creating Value From Good Ideas

Written by Steve Winduss on October 21, 2015 – 10:06 pm -

How often have I spoken to entrepreneurs with a sound idea and a willing investor who spend too much time trying to get the best deal out of the investor,  losing track on creating value from the good ideas that brought them together in the first place . This is a typical question:


I currently own 70% of Company X Ltd and have 20% against a loan note for about £3K. The other 10% can be brought back for £2.5K-£5K.  I also own 50% of Company Y Ltd. The question goes on to explain the relationship between the two companies, then continues: I feel that if I could structure my situation better, I may be able to retain ownership and a larger slice of the pie. If you have any ideas on how I could structure my situation, that would be great.


At the moment you have no value. Everything exists as ideas or shell companies or partnership agreements or something else.  Nothing is earning any money for you currently.  Spending time trying to maximise your share of something with no value has little value either. Read more »

Posted in small business ideas | Comments Off

Small Business Myth #3: Knowledge is power

Written by Steve Winduss on October 9, 2015 – 6:29 am -

Knowledge is power. So wrote Sir Francis Bacon in 1597. Far be it for me to argue with such an esteemed philosopher and statesman but if that was the case, why aren’t taxi drivers running the country?

An attitude prevails even today in UK small business that somehow to have the knowledge is to hold the balance of power. There is a reluctance to share information as to do so Read more »

Tags: ,
Posted in small business culture, small business myths | Comments Off

Network Marketing – Beware Selling The Idea Of Selling

Written by Steve Winduss on September 26, 2015 – 10:27 pm -

Selling The Idea Of Selling

Network marketing prospecting is the real heart of your network marketing business – selling the idea of selling. In other words, whilst selling products to friends, relatives and other contacts starts the sales commissions rolling, there’s a better way.

The real money is to be made through proactive network marketing prospecting and bringing more and more people into your network. If you can get 5 people to join you and they each get 5 people who in turn each get 5 people and you get sales commissions from all of them, then you can make some serious money.

However, network marketing has picked up a bit of bad karma. The evangelistic methods passed down from network leaders through their distributors to unsuspecting public like you and me has left a little problem.

Read more »

Tags: , , ,
Posted in network marketing, Small business sales techniques, small business selling techniques | 1 Comment »

Small Business Myth #2: The customer is always right.

Written by Steve Winduss on September 25, 2015 – 9:29 pm -

“The customer is always right.” Right?


Customers are just people like you and me, none of us are always right (with the possible exception of my wife) so clearly this isn’t the sense in which Harry Selfridge, founder of the prestigious Selfridges department store in London in the early 1900′s, intended to focus his staff on customer service. A noble sentiment but unwittingly misguided and demotivating for staff.

What about if he had said Read more »

Tags: ,
Posted in customer service, small business myths | 3 Comments »

Small Business Myth #1: My small business ideas could make me rich

Written by Steve Winduss on September 11, 2015 – 9:45 pm -

I’m sorry to be the first to break this to you but your small business ideas are worth diddlysquat.

I know that comes as a shock because you were relying on at least one of them to provide for your pension.

Everyone at some stage in life has at least one Read more »

Tags: ,
Posted in small business ideas, small business myths | Comments Off

Ryanair – When Customer Service Goes Down The Toilet

Written by Steve Winduss on March 6, 2015 – 1:31 pm -

So Ryanair are considering charging passengers to use their inflight toilets. Have they proved that customer service really doesn’t matter after all, or will Ryanair have stepped beyond the pail on this one?

Ryanair’s latest wheeze to charge for their inflight toilets is the latest in an unofficial socio-economic experiment being run by the company. To what level can they continue to strip customer service out of the system before people will stop buying their cheap tickets? Just how badly do customers want to get to destinations for next to nothing? And, to be fair, it’s a fascinating experiment to watch.

At the moment it seems OK that luggage is lost, flights are cancelled without warning or recompense, grumpy tetchy service is endured, surprise charges at check-ins are standard, customer service lines are unhelpful and stampedes for boarding gates are the norm. Read more »

Posted in customer service | Comments Off