Starting Up Your Own Business

The gurus kept on saying that the best place to start a new business is the internet. Apparently, it’s the cheapest place to fail.

But that really isn’t the best frame of mind in which to decide that you want to put yourself out there, liable to ridicule and the risk of failure.

With all his experience at dealing with official form completion, my friend, Gray, would say that you have to start with a business development plan which addresses exactly what you want to achieve from your labours. What’s the end result? Where do you see yourself in five years time if all has gone according to plan?

I’m afraid I did none of those things. I sort of toyed with the idea that I might be any good and I put a few feelers out here and there which led me to believe that people might be interested… at the right price.

More than anything, what I came to understand was that there was no money available for internet advertising because it was an unknown quantity. They were still putting their faith in more ‘reliable’ methods of driving traffic, even though they knew that it was expensive. As far as they were concerned, they had spent their money on something that had a ‘proven’ track record. So, whilst accepted strategies appeared to work to a certain extent, business owners were not prepared to pour any more money into their marketing budget. Especially when they didn’t understand the new ideas or any of the new-fangled technology.

Now you’re probably wondering why I’ve put a picture of two neck/shoulder muscles at the side of this picture. Well, they were what gave me the oomph. The final push to actually launch myself back into the business world and face the consequences.

It’s been nearly three years since I first started to get a pain in my shoulder and realised that the movement in my neck was restricted. Two osteopaths, a physio and a year’s worth of yoga and pilates later, I’m finally starting to get better. But it was Mike’s massage that really put my recovery into hyperdrive.

I went in for an Indian head massage to try to free up the tension in my traps – those two muscles that run down the side of your neck to your shoulders, but he suggested that I have a good, old-fashioned back and neck treatment instead… and could he use some sports massage techniques?

I should have known from the twinkle in his eye when I gave him the affirmative that it was not going to be pleasant. Hell, I’ve listened to Chris Moyles and his team receiving sports massage on the radio in the morning. Their squeals have confirmed to me that, generally, a sports massage tends to equate to pain before relief.

So, as I lay there with his elbow wedged into my semi-spinalis capitis, exhaling enthusiastically to try to relieve the agony and knowing that he still had to do the other side, I heard my voice say: ‘So, do you have a website?’.

His response echoed the well-worn path of other friends in business… and that’s when the idea struck me. I knew that I needed to have a lot more treatment to really get better but I couldn’t afford to come twice a week every week. So supposing, instead of using cold, hard cash, we came to some sort of mutually benefical arrangement that utilised the swap of services.

And that’s when I made the appointment to see him and discuss it properly.

I’m not sure that I really thought this business deal through properly because, as things stand, he gets to look at my bottom and inflict pain, whilst I get to stay up ’til 2am cursing the computer…. hmmmm…

Anyway, no cash has changed hands but he has a fully-functioning website with an ongoing marketing strategy and I can now turn my neck to either side without experiencing the familiar tightness and discomfort.

He’s now moving in on my tight hamstrings and I’m looking at the many opportunities to list his business with online directories.

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