Note: We asked several BAC mentors about the single-most effective piece of business wisdom they’ve shared with aspiring entrepreneurs. Their reflections will be featured in a series of blog posts. The first one is from Jim Moyse, veteran human resources professional, who offered the memorable experience below in his own words.
One of the most satisfying counseling sessions that I can remember involved a female bus driver. She was considering starting her own business — beautician, as I recall. Although she had experience doing the work, she had none as an owner-manager and no business plan.
Rather than telling her to keep her day job, I asked her what her hourly rate was, and it was about $25 an hour. And she worked overtime on top of that.
“Do you have paid vacation?” I asked her.
“Yes, four weeks,” she replied.
“Will you be paid a pension on retirement?”
“Do you have good medical insurance?” Again, yes.
“How many of those benefits will you have in your beautician business?”
She didn’t concede right away, but I think she left seeing reality more clearly.
From my experience and that of others, I’d say that the biggest beneficiaries of our advice are those clients who leave their first meeting having bonded with the three BAC advisers, have received good advice, are serious about starting a business and are willing to make progress on the advice they’ve received before coming back. Many of them do come back and are among our most successful clients.