From early on in my teens I remember being interested in watching ‘business fixing’ programmes, the first of which was Troubleshooter ‘starring’ the former ICI Chairman, Sir John Harvey Jones. The format was so formal and quintessentially British but he had a great approach and his ‘asides’ and ‘voiceovers’ were always so incisive. I loved being able to guess what Sir John thought the Business Owners were doing wrong and say it out loud to my Dad and then have a smug sense of satisfaction when I got it right!
Despite interest in business and creative fields like art, music and photography, I chose a career in accountancy which was considered a safer, more flexible option.!, I was fortunate in my early accounting training to work predominantly in the more practical, real life, less restrictive area of business insolvency and reconstruction.
The next 10 years saw me move between the multi-national subsidiaries and Irish SME’s, climbing the career ladder, improving the CV.
Then I got the ‘I want to own and run my own business’ bug and took the plunge with the idea that I was going to advise business owners (like Sir John) on how to run their businesses better. The reality was very different and I ended up doing any kind of accounting, financial systems related work that I could get – not the ideal approach to building a business as I now know!
Then I got a break, or more to the point, an opportunity became apparent which I took. Together with a partner, we took on the Irish distribution rights for a South African authored, accounting software package. It was perfect for the Irish market–we did a great job getting out there and built a great business in the two year period, so much so that the South African’s bought us out in order to establish Dublin as its European HQ! How cool was that? Well it was great for a year or so until dot-com related financial issues caused them to abandon the European HQ dream … and us!
Dusting ourselves down after that experience, I decided to go back to consulting and once again, without considering the ‘What business would I like to build? question, I ended up working on a series of business improvement and troubleshooting assignments – all of which were successful. The trouble, however, was that I didn’t see it as a business that could be developed and scaled. I now realise when recalling my own journey that most people start out and do as I did without a vision for their business or a clear idea of who they are serving or why and, as a result, they struggle.
The common denominator in each situation is the business owner – how the business operates and its relative level of success is a mirror image of the degree of clarity that the business owner demonstrates in understanding and communicating to staff and others exactly what he/she is aiming to create. To me, the process of doing business, the day to day execution, when described or detailed in theory is actually quite simple, the complications only arise when the activities, behaviours and beliefs of the owner kick in. And so BusinessShouldBeEasy.com was born out of the idea that if I could provide a series of teaching resources together with a support service which demystified the process of structuring the business idea and model correctly and encouraging the creation of the owners business vision then the path to achievement would be significantly smoother.
The concept for BusinessShouldBeEasy.com was germinating for almost two years before I secured the domain name in October 2010. Since then it has come to fruition initially as a successful coaching and mentoring service and from February 2013, through the introduction of a 6 Month Business Owner Group Coaching Programme, I aim to bring a combination of instruction and coaching/mentoring support to an additional 100 business owners over the course of the next 12 months.