Locally renowned entrepreneur (and my old friend) Ernie Epplethorpe is starting another new business, Excellent Ernest’s X-Ray Emporium. He sent me a copy of the message he spammed around, partly so I’d know what he’s up to and partly in case I wanted to bid the job. (I didn’t.)
Website designers: I’d like to create www.excellenternestsXXXemporium.net. I’ve been working on it myself but have started to realize I might be better served getting grants for the business and hiring a designer. If you are interested (and are seriously affordable) please call me. Thanks!
No sooner had I responded to that message than a new client did show up in the dooryard. A local dipswitch manufacturer named Dudley Donato is moving from his garage operation to a shared new building in the county industrial development park in Puffin Center. Mr. Donato needs to install some new packers and to scale up his order fulfillment technology since most orders are either for one or two switches or for one or two pallet loads.
Dudley Donato’s Dependable Dipswitches and Excellent Ernest’s X-Ray Emporium. Really. I couldn’t make this stuff up.
We’ll have new equipment on Mr. Donato’s dock by the end of February.
I told Mr. Epplethorpe that we’re not cheap enough but I did advise that he would be well served by concentrating on his core strengths and hiring (somebody) out to do the jobs he doesn’t want or can’t do.
That’s Business Startup 101.
There’s a caveat, though.
Mr. Epplethorpe, despite the grandeur of his newest corporate name, is a sole proprietor. Here’s what I asked — and told — him:
Are you working the requisite 80 billable hours/week? If not, are you working 80 hours/week on something that will lead to something billable? Are you motivated enough to do it yourself?
If those answers are no and no and no, Are you a good enough HTML jockey and are you also good enough at marketing? If so, your own time might be better spent on webwork than on other activities.
New business owners have a perennial problem. When there is enough time, there is never enough money to do a job. When there is enough money, there is never enough time.
We’ve all seen the new “Coming Soon!” restaurant in town not open and not open and not open while the owners slave with spackling and paintbrushes and oven wiring. Not much money coming in the doors when the doors aren’t open. The best argument to plan for outside help is this: excellenternestsXXXemporium.net has yet to go live and Mr. Donato’s dipswitches are switching on and off already.
The Great Female Vocalist (rock/pop/country singer-songwriter) of last week just finished submitting a new song to the Library of Congress. “It is so easy now that everything is done electronically,” she told me. “Some artists have ‘people’ to do this stuff. I am my people. Hey, I think I’ll have a company party tonight.”
It was a great party.