Open all Hours

By December 2, 2014 Career Advice and Tips

I hear about lots of people who want to run their own business. People who know me say “Cathy why don’t you cut back on your hours and let your staff do the hard work. If I was you I’d never be there. I’d be on the golf course.”

Well here’s the thing. I don’t play golf and to have a successful business involves hard work. There are no short cuts.

I put in the hours because it is my business and I’m determined that it will do well. It’s easy really because I love it.

A lot of people have really good ideas about setting up a business. But what annoys me as a business owner, is when I see people with really good ideas do stupid things.

E.g. there used to be a beautiful shop near where I lived that sold exquisite items reasonably priced and the shop always looked fabulous.  The stuff that was in there you couldn’t get anywhere else. There were retro things in there, handmade and locally sourced items and items that were handpainted and restored. It was a really great shop.

The problem with the shop was on the door and the website it said it would be open at 9.00am on a Saturday.  I used to go every Saturday at 9.00 and it was never open. It used to really annoy me.   In the evening I used to walk past, and used to look through the window at all the lovely things and there was once a gorgeous mirror in the window. It had loads of coloured glass around the outside and I had never seen anything like it.

I went back at 9.00 in the morning and the shop was closed.  I went back at 9.30 and the shop was still closed.

I phoned the shop and there was no answer. I went online and emailed to say that I had seen a lovely mirror in the window but that the shop was never open. She assured me she would be open on the coming Saturday. But you know what I thought to myself I don’t care how lovely that mirror is I’m not buying it from you. If you can’t be bothered to open your shop I really don’t feel that it’s my responsibility to force you to open it.  It felt like she would only open the shop if she had a guaranteed sale.

This shop unsurprisingly is no longer open.

If you have a good idea and are going to make a huge investment in starting a business then at  least commit yourself to getting up in the morning to open it.  If you can’t, employ someone else who can.  If you’re not open when you say you are, it’s going to fail at the outset. That shop could have been an amazing success but because of the owners  laziness and lack of motivation the shop failed and has now closed.

That saying “just showing up is half the battle” certainly rings true to me.