In 1989 when I opened my first high street hair salon and business I had to do certain things that I wasn’t sure about doing.
I could have kept a job but frankly as a creative I had quickly become an unemployable dreamer that just wanted to create great things.
So I got a shop.
I had to sign a long contract that would keep me committed and in the shop for 15 years.
I had to re-mortgage my home to make the shop happen.
I had to work 7 days a week for years.
I had to be a director, accountant, boss, listener, mentor, trainer and a hairdresser each day.
The stress was huge and there was more than one occasion where we nearly sunk like a ship without trace.
This was at the same time as I was buying, building, restoring houses and having babies and doing all the things families do.
In those days I had zero option it had to work and work it did but it was always really hard, despite the fun, despite the pleasures, despite the rewards, it was always hard work.
I had bailiffs in the salon over unpaid taxes.
I had fired staff’s boyfriends wanting to kill me.
I had no idea how to run a business and had to learn fast.
At times I had so many bills and hardly any cash flow.
As hard as it could be, it worked.
That was 23 years ago and frankly I’ve learnt a lot of stuff since then, seen a few storms and enjoyed some real sunshine moments.
But there is one thing that I learnt that would be more important than anything I have ever done in my life. This one thing would and could have saved me money, a lot of money. It could have saved me heartache a lot of heartache it could have saved time, effort and loss.
It was this and as simple as it might seem this is exactly what it was.
Asking for advice.
Not just advice but advice from an expert. There is a difference. An expert has been there already, they have experienced what they share, they understand the pain and the glory of what they went through and can empathize with the pain and the glory that those that ask might also be going through.
It’s no accident that the best relationship counselors are usually those that have experienced crazy relationships.
It’s no accident that the best money advisors are those that have gained, lost, gained lost and finally mastered money.
Can you see a pattern here?
So it took me a long time but I eventually mastered the art of asking experts for expert advice and it made a difference.
I spoke to a client recently. The client reminded me of something I had been through. He was trying to look after his website himself and despite his 2nd year at trying this he still couldn’t master coding and html. He asked me, ‘how do you get this part of your website to look like that?’ I replied ‘I have no idea I pay an expert to do it’.
You know what he said?
‘ok I’ll try something else then’
Yet for two years he has been building and playing at being in business with his website.
The real question is why didn’t he pay someone $150 to fix his website? He said he didn’t want to pay that kind cash for something he felt he could do himself.
Yet, he has been doing this for two years. The result is, he still doesn’t have a website that is creating wealth and helping him into a better life!
I worked out a simple math and sent it to him.
His web business if it had been working in full function and making sales could have made $912,000 based on the projections we have done. Those projections are realistic numbers that are easily achievable for him.
So why do so many people fail at such an early level in business?
Maybe they still have their job and it doesn’t really have to work?
Maybe they are locked into the ego trap where it becomes what they call their baby and can’t allow someone else to interfere?
Maybe they are what some call too proud to ask for advice?
Maybe they simply should stick to a job and were never made for business?
Whatever the reason here is why asking for expert advice was my greatest ever discovery as an entrepreneur.
Not long after I opened my first business we hit trouble big trouble. I had no cash, no clients and everyone was asking for payment of some kind. In the early days I had to let staff go, I had to cut back I had to find money to pay for everything.
Eventually a mentor of mine came to the rescue. He was an expert of many decades, he knew what to do, and he knew how to turn things around and he knew how to help me change direction in hours, not years!
Within days of listening to him we increased clients, increased sales, increased money in the bank. I could pay back my mortgage, feed my kids, pay staff, make business happen and all this was done at lightning speed rather than months or years!
He is a real expert and he changed my business and my life. At the time it cost me a couple of grand I didn’t have but the reality is if I had not done it I would have been looking for a job!
He taught me effective marketing that works.
He taught me how to find marketing partners.
He taught me how to create sales from thin air.
He taught me how to maximize my time.
He taught me how to prevent wasting time.
Over the years after his advice I went from nearly bust to a turnover of around £3.1 Million. That’s not a bad return on investment don’t you think.
Yet as a consultant today I still puzzle as to why people don’t ask for advice, EXPERT advice.
Some will take a free route, others take a cheap route and simply hope it’ll happen based on the tiny amount of help they glean.
Yet when sick who asks for the cheapest surgeon or a cut-price doctor? A dead fool I would say yet when in business that’s exactly what some still do.
If you want a business to work, if you need your business to turnaround, if you need to gain the edge over your competition or simply want to get to a stage where your business supports and nurtures your life do yourself a favor… Ask an EXPERT for expert advice.
Yours in success.
Alan Forrest Smith
Salon Marketing Experts …Salon Punk