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Oddly enough, the only reason a business gets to a certain level and does not expand beyond that level is that no one is being creative enough to take it to the next level. Why do business owners stop creating and cease to come up with ways to expand their business?

There could obviously be many reasons. However, their understanding of business and how it works could be the main reason. It does not matter what type of industry the business is in; the same formula for success works for everyone. How do I know this? I have been building businesses now for nearly 40 years of all kinds, and no matter what the business is, the basic formula is applied to all. Most business owners know this formula. They often build a business by working hard and successfully by using only a couple of the steps of the overall formula. The result is reaching a certain level and having difficulty expanding beyond. “WHY IS THIS?” is the question.

When I was seventeen, I bought my first car. It looked good, great color, and it was at a price I could afford. Within six months, I crashed it, and the insurance company wrote it off as too costly to repair. I bought another car, but this time I looked under the hood and decided I wanted to know how everything worked. I pulled the engine out, pulled it all apart, cleaned it all up, painted the engine, cleaned the engine bay and whole underneath of the car, and then put it all back together again. I then had a very good understanding of how everything worked. I changed the oil myself and did any and all maintenance on it myself. I modified the car and upgraded things. I had that car for two years and never put a scratch on it.

The moral of the story, as it relates to business, is that you have to “look under the hood.” You have to understand everything about a business and all aspects of it. People will have more problems with things that they have little understanding of.

I’m a business mediator, and I was handling a dispute, one time over the loss of a 3 million dollar investment. The guy that invested the 3 million dollars had made his money as a civil engineer. I asked him how many years it had taken for him to train as a Civil Engineer, and he told me it took six years. I then asked him how many years did he study to become an investor? He said none. He realized how irresponsible he had been on his investment and that he heavily contributed to the loss by his own lack of knowledge. We resolved the dispute very easily after that.

Business owners will tend to build their business from the part of the business that they know a lot about—what they are most knowledgeable in. Most technician-minded business owners gravitate to the operations part of the business, usually because that was the area that they started the business from.

So, what slows a business expansion down and eventually leads into contraction? The answer is a lack of understanding in other areas of the business that the owners and execs lack knowledge in. It’s not even good enough for one exec to have knowledge in all the weak areas as he will often battle opposition from the owners and execs that don’t have knowledge in those areas. The solution is to get all owners and execs trained in all areas of a business; this way, they will understand the importance of having those areas in place.


  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP—Top-down viewpoint Books to read: The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz, Unfair Advantage by Robert Kiyosaki

  • MARKETING—Public Relations, Promotion, Advertising, and Sales. Books to read: They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan, Expert Secrets by Russel Brunson

  • FINANCIAL PLANNING—Profitability, Income and Expansion Planning, Accounting, Reserves, and Investments. Books to read: Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason, Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

  • HIRING AND STAFF MANAGEMENT— Legal, Human Recourses, Payroll, Bonuses, Staff training, Apprenticing, Motivation, Productivity, and Management. Subscribe to my weekly Eletters.

  • QUALITY CONTROL—Customer surveys, Continuing education, Staff correction, Product improvement.

The difference between a small business and a large business is that the owners of large businesses tend to be happy to let others do the work and run operations. In a small business, the owners are not as willing. The trust factor in others is higher in a large business than in a small business. Just as easy as it is to see that a person who is able to take orders themselves, will be able to give orders successfully to others, a person who is trained well in subjects will have more confidence in training others in those subjects.

Life and livingness is all about considerations and education. So as a recommendation for the year, make the decision to get yourself trained in the above bullet-pointed subjects. There is always something we can learn that can help us all change our considerations and move things to a new and improved level.

Graham Payne

Why businesses begin a downward trend: Projects
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