PART 2 of 4: THE CURSE OF THE ACCIDENTAL ENTREPRENEUR
WHY OPERATING YOUR BUSINESS THE WAY YOU ALWAYS HAVE…
WON’T WORK ANY LONGER
Published on March 21st, 2019. Last Updated: April 1st, 2019
by Jason Friedman
WE HAVE TWO CHOICES…
We can take what we’ve learned and what we’ve been doing for the past several years and HOPE that it will continue to work as long as it can…
We can argue all day long about the how “what we’ve been doing” has gotten us this far and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophies, but I’m gonna win every single time. It’s true – because I’ve done the research, and I’ve run the numbers, and perhaps, even more importantly, I’ve tried your way, and I’ve lost my shirt!
…Or, we can rise up to the challenge of being an “Intentional Entrepreneur”, forget the notion of our driving school as a “side-hustle” or part-time business, forget about the “we’ll just throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks” and INVEST in learning a few things that could change our lives (and our family’s lives) for good.
Honestly, that’s probably what I love most about business – learning new things, and playing a bigger and bigger game. It’s intoxicating. ?
The Driving School Owners simply did NOT have a good way to tell their students about our business – unless they handed them a brochure during their last lesson!
I’M GOING TO SHOW YOU
WHY YOUR DRIVING SCHOOL BUSINESS ISN’T GROWING…AND WHAT THE CURSE OF THE “ACCIDENTAL ENTREPRENEUR” HAS TO DO WITH IT
What I’m about to share with you is pretty important stuff – although * some* of it might seem basic at first. But it’s important and most people don’t understand (and rarely apply) the strategies I’m going to explain. So, when I share this information with people, I’m always faced with two reactions:
Person 1: Jason, this is amazing! You totally get me and my situation. It’s as if you’re actually inside my head, living my life. What you’re sharing is so helpful. I’m so glad I found you…I I can do this with your help! or;
Person 2: Jason, this is pretty much common sense. I mean, I know most of this already.
You get to choose who you’re going to be. Person 1 or Person 2.
If you want a hint at who’s doing better in business (making more money, working less hours, has a rock-star team) – take a guess. ?
OK…to be clear, I’m not saying that your business is a failure or you should be beating yourself up. What I am saying is that if you’re not investing in learning more about HOW to grow your business (and perhaps how to grow yourself as an entrepreneur), then you are going to lose in the not-so-long-term.
If you don’t want to believe me, then maybe you’ll believe the statistics.
According to the Small Business Administration of the United States (SBA), about ⅓ (33%) of small business with employees fail within their first two (2) years.
About ½ (50%) fail within their first five (5) years.
And only about ⅓ (33%) will survive in their 10th year.
So why do these businesses fail?
I’m going to share that with you now and give you some of my thoughts about each reason.
THE TOP BUSINESS KILLERS AFFECTING SMALL BUSINESSES TODAY!
According to Small Biz Trends, these are the top reasons why small businesses fail…I left out one or two that I didn’t think would directly apply to you, but you can check out the whole article here.
1. Starting for the Wrong Reason
This is all about the “Accidental Entrepreneur” vs. the “Intentional Entrepreneur”.“According to Forbes, more than 500,000 businesses are started each month — many for the wrong reason. Case in point, an electrician who worked for a building contractor decided that he no longer needed to answer to an employer and could do better financially by stepping out on his own…What he failed to realize, however, was that although he had the skills to do the electrical work, he lacked the acumen to manage a business successfully.”
2. Improper Planning
Bingo! This is what I was talking about in Part 1 – there’s no STRATEGY.
There’s no VISION. There’s no MISSION.
Any successful business – EVERY SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS – needs a STRATEGIC PLAN and a VISION to grow.
3. Poor Management and Leadership
This one almost killed me in my first business. I was the furthest thing from a leader. I had no clue how to run a team.
My increasing frustration and growing moodiness did NOT help my team at all, in fact, quite the opposite. I was losing people – not to mention my mind!
I remember the day when I reached a breaking point.I was working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week…I was doing everything I knew how to do – but things were getting worse and worse. I was depressed and ready to quit.
I remember talking to my friend Bob, a fellow entrepreneur, and he said, “Dude, you need to get a coach!”
He introduced me to someone and I joined their coaching program the following week, and within the first 6 months I learned an invaluable lesson, that literally transformed my life.
(Remind me, I’ll share that lesson with you a little bit later, as it is mission critical to your success in business…)
4. Expanding Too Quickly
Two of the driving schools I had met were 100% guilty of this one.
They started to grow WAY too quickly. They were buying more cars, and hiring more instructors before they even had enough students.
Then, they were scrambling to get more students – hiring teachers in different schools hoping that they would be able to convince students to choose their school…and his exact words, “This almost killed me and got me divorced!”
Now, don’t get me wrong, expansion is a great thing, when it’s strategic, and you have the systems, processes and cash flow to support it.
I teach all of my clients how to not only GROW their businesses, but how to SCALE it.
(Again, more on this later…)
5. Failure to [properly and effectively] Advertise and Market
I could write an entire encyclopedia on this one. In fact, I have an entire program called the Driving School Marketing Academy that I teach that encompasses this (and most of the other points).
The bottom line is that most Driving Schools rely on minimal advertising and marketing and even then – it’s more “traditional” advertising and marketing – things like flyers, brochures, ads in local coupon books, school adverts, etc. And frankly, this is not only not enough today, it’s mostly WRONG.
6. Lack of Differentiation
You have to know what sets you apart in YOUR market. Being the lowest-priced school is not something that will give you braggin’ rights for long. Being the “Best” driving school isn’t something tangible or effective either – when it comes to differentiating yourself in a crowded, competitive market.
You have to find ways that your school is unique and there are many specific ways in which I teach people to do this; however, when you don’t, you’re simply setting yourself up as a commodity and you will have to compete on price alone. And trust me, that’s not a good strategy. Period.
7. Unwillingness to Delegate
If you’re reading this after hours, and you just finished all your lessons and paperwork for the day, then I’m talking directly to you. If you don’t have an assistant, you ARE an assistant. You have special unique skills and abilities that others don’t. You’re the captain of the ship, and you can’t afford to be swabbing the decks and steering the ship at the same time.
If this sounds unbelievable and you’re thinking about how impossible it would be to part with the money to hire some additional help, you NEED to keep reading…because I can promise you that what got you to this point WILL NOT get you to the next milestone in growth.
Every entrepreneur starts off as the chief cook and bottle washer, but the successful ones learn how to delegate and to build and surround themselves with a team that helps the business grow. It’s not only possible but it is critical.
8. Unprofitable Business Model
This one really frustrates me…because for every single driving school I work with, not a single one has been able to correctly tell me what the most profitable service they sell is.
In fact, it is the same for every single driving school. Not only is it the most profitable, it’s the easiest to sell, it’s the easiest to deliver and it’s the only one that no one focuses on.
If you think that selling your student on 6-hours of behind-the-wheel training is the answer…well, you’re in good company, because that’s what all of my students thought too…until I unpacked it and showed them. I’ll explain more about this soon…
9. Underestimating the Competition
This is one of the things I hear that keeps my students up at night – that is, before they start working with me.
They worry about what their competitors are charging. Who they recently hired. What new car they just saw on the road.
This is all something to be aware of, of course; however, they are missing the boat. They aren’t looking at the real thing about their competitors that they need to dissect
(I’ll explain what this is a little later…)
Now, if you’ve read this far, then I’m sure you’ve been able to identify with some of the “gotchas” above. And rest easy, because you’re not alone…
AND THIS IS YOUR UNFAIR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN A NUTSHELL!
- How many of your competitors are experiencing these same pains and frustrations?
- How many of your competitors are just trying to do more and more of the same things – to get more sales?
The answer to the above is most likely ALL OF THEM…
But let me ask you a MORE IMPORTANT question:
- How many of your competitors are actively learning how to run a better business – by design?
The answer to this is most likely very few to ZERO.
So, this is your opportunity. This is why today can be the first day of a bigger, better future. Because like I explained before – it was NOT your fault that your business wasn’t crushing it. You didn’t know what you didn’t know. You didn’t have context for what you could (or should) be doing. No one ever talked about it with you.
But now, it’s different. Now you know.
This EXACT SAME THING happened to me. The day that I “knew” …I realized something.
I realized that I have an OBLIGATION to my business, to my team, to my customers, to my family and TO MYSELF to become better at running this business.
I OWED it to all of us to learn how to become a better entrepreneur and to start to gain the capabilities I would need to get to the next level.
You see, when I figured this out, a lot of things shifted for me.
- First, I found myself EXCITED about my business. I was actually the guy that started waking up in the middle of the night with GREAT IDEAS about my business. I would literally jump out of the bed in the morning before the alarm would sound, ready to win the day.
- Second, I found myself more PRESENT with my friends, family, employees, customers. I was more INTERESTED in them and became much better at contributing to my most valued relationships. (I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I also learned how poorly I was doing before…)
- Third, I seemed to be attracting bigger and better opportunities into my world – every day, something GOOD would happen, versus me waiting for some other shoe to drop with bad news or a problem. I saw opportunity around every corner.
- Fourth, I felt clarity about what I needed to do each day, and I was actually DOING IT. I became more productive, focused, and had a sense of accomplishment that I had NEVER felt before. It was perhaps the MOST AMAZING FEELING I’ve ever known!
- Fifth, I felt more IN CONTROL of my future. I had a plan. I had a mission. I had a vision and I started to develop a road-map to get me there. OMG this was awesome.
- Sixth, I had more time to live. I actually started working LESS HOURS. You see, I realized something else…When I was working around the clock, without a strategy, I was exhausted. I was overwhelmed. I had lost my sense of “ME”…and when I got clearer, all of a sudden, I was able to make time for things that were important to ME. Spending time with my family. Spending time reading, biking, doing other hobbies that I had nearly forgotten about – and this all added up to a happier Jason. IN fact, I took my family on a vacation for the first time ever – where I didn’t work even once while we were away! (try this – it’s weird at first, but incredibly rewarding!)
- Lastly, I was MAKING MORE MONEY than I had ever dreamed of. And it seemed to happen almost overnight.
I’m sure this all sounds pretty amazing, and perhaps it seems too good to be true.
But it happened to me, and it has happened to all of the people I’ve been blessed to work with and coach over the years – and most recently, it has happened for my students who own driving schools.
ADD TESTIMONIALS HERE
Let’s look at a few examples of how this might look in your business.
- Doing what you’ve been doing that got you where you are TODAY and HOPING that it will continue to work could be the beginning of the end for your business.
- Most (over 66%) of small businesses (aka Driving Schools) fail within 10 years, and 50% fail within five – for most of the same reasons – DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU.
- Being and “Intentional Entrepreneur” vs and “Accidental Entrepreneur” is critical in today’s marketplace.
- Clearly Differentiating from your Competition is CRITICAL.
- The failure to properly and effectively advertise and market is allowing your competition to slide onto your turf and take hold of a part of your market.
- Competing on PRICE is not a long-term strategy.