At a business outlook breakfast this morning I sat next to a very politically involved person who asked what I did and when I answered, he asked “What do you see as the most pressing need in small business today?”
I thought about my answer for a few moments then came up with the term “Immediately applicable business education.” I shared some statistics about business failures (approximately 85% failure in the first five years) and why I felt the failure rate was so high.
Due to a need (couldn’t find a job) or because of an idea, a business is born and often is launched with nothing more than a personal “need” or the “idea” as the foundation upon which to build. Many small businesses grow by trial and error; if there are too many errors the business may fail.
I asked my new breakfast acquaintance where he thought that a business owner could go to get help in accounting, marketing, management or any of the other essentials needed to grow a successful business. The answer I received was “community college.”
I explained that when a small business owner needs help, a three month introduction to a business discipline is too little too late. My vision of education for small business owners is a one or two hour session on a business discipline, after which he can go back to work and immediately apply what was learned.
It should be beneficial enough to create a desire for more “IABE’s.” The education has to be practical not theoretical. It should be presented by someone who has actually “lived” the subject matter, not learned it in a classroom.
I was on a “roll”, so I continued with my dissertation. Just like “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”, there has to be a way to educate business owners to accept support when it’s offered. Being in politics, I went on, perhaps he could start a campaign to educate small business owners of their need to find IABE’s in their area and take advantage of that support.
Although the conversation was not about what I was doing, I realized that my struggle to grow www.onebizcentral,com was in reality an IABE and it should be marketed as such.
The past is yours, learn from it. The present is yours, fulfill it. Walter Fauntroy