Category Archives: Small Business

The Book Update

So it’s been a while since I gave you all an update on the book project, Free at 45.  So here is where I’m at now:  as of this afternoon I will be paying my editor her final installment and picking up the files to upload to the printer.  After I get the files I will be doing a last review on the book to ensure I don’t have any last minute edits.

Then I order a review copy of the book from the printer and ensure everything there is all right.  Meanwhile I will get to work on the ebook version of the book.  I technically have ‘prototype epub’ file at the moment, but it might be not be compatible with the ebook distributor I want to use.  So that might be another weekend of hard work redoing the formatting to make it all work. Then after that I’ve got to start to work on the executing the marketing plan.

So all in all, things are moving along nicely and I hopeful I will meet my publication date of Feb 28, 2011.  I’m also hoping to offer all of you, my readers, a special promotional offer on the book later this month.  So stay tuned and I will release details later this month.

Have a great weekend,


Book Review: Crush It!

So can you really make money at what you really love to do instead of your current job?  Well for Gary Vaynerchuk who wrote Crush It!: Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion, the answer was: YES!  So with some personal branding  and social media work Gary managed to take his dad’s liquor store from a $4 million dollar business to a $50 million dollar business in eight years.

Impressive, but how does that help you?  Well in this short book, a mere 134 pages, Gary outlines how to utilize your natural talent and passion in order to grow just about any business or even a blog.  So regardless of what you are doing selling an actual product or just blogging about what you love he provides a clear cut method to get the most of your social media networks.  Including a few tips that I found myself taking notes on since while I like social media I suck at using it (just look at my twitter feed if you don’t believe me).

While some of the advice in the book might strike anyone who has been around the internet as obvious, for example, that social media has dwarfed some other traditional media methods to reach people.  He is still honest about running a business is a lot of work.  My favorite quote in the book is:

Many are probably just sick of the killer hours and inflexible schedules and demanding bosses often found in the corporate world and think entrepreneurship will somehow be less taxing.  I hate to disappoint, but if you’re looking for an easier time here, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

So should you read the book?  Well to be honest it really isn’t for everyone, especially if your business has little to no internet exposure. Yet if you do have a Twitter and Facebook account it might be worth reading to get a few ideas on how to use both of them more effectively.

PS: I want to thank Frank Wiginton for bringing this book to my attention a while back with one of his comments.

Your Small Business Doesn’t Have to Be About Money

As many long time readers on this blog know my wife runs a daycare out of our house.  While its not the most profitable one in the city it does meet our needs as a family just about perfectly.  You see when my wife started the daycare the end goal was never about making the most money (thankful otherwise she would so be in the wrong line of work), instead the business has other goals.

The genesis of the business came about after our first son was born 10 week premature.  While that in itself was a scary event we both had concerns about his development and wanted one of us to be home with him.  Since my wife was by far the most qualified out of the two of us (she has a degree in sociology focusing on children and family studies) it made sense for her to stay home.  Just one little problem: we couldn’t afford for her to stay at home and earn nothing at the time.

So my wife came up with the idea of running a daycare to earn some money, not lots of money.  So while she isn’t making money hand over fist or anything, we have enjoyed numerous other benefits from the business:

  • Our own kids aren’t in care.  Which was the primary goal of the business and now just something that as a family we feel is important and not to mention is a huge cost savings to the house of about $800/month on an after tax basis.
  • My wife can be picky about clients.  Since she offers a high demand service she can pick people that she will like to work for, which makes her life way less stressful in the long run.
  • Our kids genuinely enjoy the other kids.  Since my wife is picky about clients, our boys end up with kids the actually like playing with and they tend to form strong friendships.  The highest compliment my wife receives is when the parents show up the child is whining “But I don’t want to go home.”
  • Grant money.  My wife may not make a killing on daycare fees, but she is well supported by grants from the provincial government since she is licensed (over $3000 in 2010).  So as such she is continuing to build a better and better experience for the kids and she continues to attend training to get better at her job.  As such her program more recently is starting to edge into looking more like a pre-K program than just generic child care.
  • My wife doesn’t have to work full time.  This is partly a function of client demands, but often my wife does seek to keep a few days a month with just our own kids.  Since she tries to have this line up with my Friday’s off we can often book appointments and do errands on Friday and leave our ‘real’ weekend free to do more fun things.

In the end the business is perfect for our family.  Yes, my wife could likely be making more money elsewhere, but in this case that isn’t the primary goal.  So don’t feel bad if your small business isn’t a gold mine, there are other goals that you should keep in mind that might just end up being what you need.  So do you run a small business that has other goals than money?  Or if not, what goals would you setup if you started a business beyond money?