Beating 71% of Small Businesses

Beating 71% of Small Businesses

According to statistics, 71% of all small businesses go bust within ten years, most of them in the first 3 to 5 years. My company,, is ten years old today!

Happy birthday me!

I started this business a decade ago with £684 quid of my own money and a few free evenings, and so far it’s generated £2.2 million in sales without me ever leaving home, ever making or delivering a physical product or service, and without me ever borrowing money.

Approximately 75% of that £2.2 million quid has come from large corporations in other countries, so as a net exporter, I am bringing revenue into the UK and paying corporation tax on my profits, helping the UK economy. Running my own company has not always been easy, but it has enabled me to work from home for a decade, being a hands-on Dad, supporting my wife and enjoying sharing life with my young children as they grow up. I started the company when our first-born was 5 weeks old (I must be bloody mad!)

I see Stephen Elop take the CEO job at Nokia 7 years ago, and in the last 6 years, he has destroyed a $50bn dollar business, and sold it off for just $7bn. What is left of Nokia’s handset division is losing $250 million bucks per year. For this astronomical fuck up, he is being paid a $25.5 MILLION dollar bonus, on TOP of his multi-million annual earnings.

Portio Research cannot afford to lose $250 million bucks per year, in fact, my accountant would remind me that if I even lost £250 quid per year, I would not be running my business very well!

Small companies cannot play “the game of business” the way big companies do. Big companies have shareholders, hedge funds, banks and other financial institutions backing them…holding them afloat while they lose millions, hoping for a pay day further down the line. Small companies do not have suck luxuries available to us.

We small business owners have to run our companies PROPERLY, we have to stay in the red as much as possible, we have to make a profit every year in order to stay in business, and we have to keep our customers happy so that we can beat the 71% of companies that never reach their 10th birthday.

According to the Government , 99.2% of all companies in the UK have less than 50 employees. 96% of all companies in the UK are micro businesses (4.6 million companies) employing 0-9 people, and these small companies generate 21% of the UK PAYE tax receipts.

So not to be patting myself on the back too much, but let’s hear it for small business owners, not those Blue Chip corporate la-la land business folk who have no idea what balancing the books is all about. Let’s hear it for small business owners who never get a day off, never take a real holiday and never stop thinking about (and worrying about!) their business.

Their are pros and cons to running your own company, but generally speaking, the pros outweigh the cons.

To all other small business owners, I salute you! More power to us!

If you could go back in time to when you were a teenager, what advice would you give the teenage you?

Someone posed this question to me “If you could go back in time to when you were a teenager, what advice would you give the teenage you?”

I answered like this:

  • Dream big, bigger, massive!
  • Believe in myself
  • Give up worthlessness, drop the low self-opinion, lose the low self-esteem, learn to love myself
  • Know my own abilities, and strive constantly for more
  • Invest in my own education, constantly
  • Learn, grow, be incredible….
  • Spend less time drunk
  • Exercise every day of my life
  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t eat junk food
  • Read. Study. Learn from people I admire. Connect with influential people. Pick awesome role models
  • Start my own company(s) early in life
  • Set high standards, for my friends, my career, my goals and dreams, but mostly for myself
  • Save 10% of every penny I earn from day one and invest it in property and stocks
  • Work hard
  • Aim high
  • Don’t waste a day, they are ALL so precious
  • Love passionately and ceaselessly, believe in true love
  • Give generously
  • Travel extensively
  • Live with passion, energy, intrigue and desire
  • Invest in property as young as possible
  • Keep searching, keep questioning
  • Never, ever, ever give up


Doing Nothing is a Backward Step

Doing Nothing is a Backward Step

A friend reminded me of this line of thought yesterday, so I thought I would blog about this today. My friend lamented that he had previously worked hard for 10 months to improve his physical conditioning, but then just 3 months of taking his eye off the ball and all his hard work was lost.

Let me give you an analogy that might resonate with some of you. This is a running story, and I wrote this for a business book I published back in 2009, but it is very relevant to diet and exercise and how we treat our health and our bodies in general.

If it feels good to run, keep on running.

If you are a runner, or have ever regularly run then you’ll understand this. Continue reading