What I’ve Learned as a Small Business Owner – 5 Years Later

In 2010, at the height of a recession, I embarked on a growth pilgrimage into the association market and created The Moery Company (actually, Mark French of Leading Authorities and I launched the first version MoeryLAI in that year. I’m thankful for his partnership). I leaned twenty years in an industry meant zilch when building a new endeavor from scratch. For any of you burgeoning entrepreneurs out there – I share a few surprising observations (at least to me) from my experiences:

  1. Selling for the company is the CEO’s #1 job initially. You better get an appetite for it.
  2. You’re more likely to fail because you didn’t charge enough for services; rather than the lack of clients.
  3. Social media is the world’s most powerful tool to generate awareness about your firm.
  4. It’s all about talent.  Hiring the very best person is an exponential (not incremental) advantage to the company.
  5. Set expectations for your people and then get the heck out of the way.
  6. Chronic late payers will drive you nuts and kill a start-up.
  7. Fire a client early. It’s going to happen at some time, so think through a good professional process.
  8. Regulatory paperwork is a huge time suck, and saps energy at small businesses.
  9. That being said, Obamacare didn’t kill my business.
  10. Let someone else have a recession. You can succeed regardless of the business trends.

One final note, if you want to start a business. Go for it, and burn the boats behind you. I think you will be much more successful if you have no other options. That’s motivation!