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Successful Business That Can't Fail

How To Start A Business That Can’t Fail – 5 Simple Steps To Freeing Yourself From The 9-5

Leaving your 9-5 and starting your first business can be a scary thought.  I know I was scared when I first decided to quit my job and go out on my own in 2011.

I was working at a desk job I absolutely hated and desperately wanted to start my own business.  I wanted to do anything but work at that life draining job.  But, I couldn’t even decide on a business to start, let alone create a plan that made me feel secure.

I’d read business books in an attempt to learn more, but they all made it sound so complicated and challenging.  Business was so foreign to me and it seemed like I needed to have a unique idea to be successful.  I had no idea where to start.

After struggling for over a year to create an escape plan, I finally decided to just get started.  For me, that meant quitting my job even though I didn’t know the next step.

It was the best decision I’ve ever made and led me to start a business that I love.

However, it still wasn’t easy to choose a business.  I had to find something that I knew I could make work and with little startup capital.  I didn’t have the option to fail, and I’m sure you don’t either.  Maybe that’s why you haven’t made the jump yet.

Since leaving my job, I’ve learned a lot about business and what it means to take the risk of setting out on your own.  One thing that I’ve realized is that it isn’t as risky as most people think.  In fact, I believe it’s less risky than putting all of your eggs in the 9-5 basket.

So, if your dream is to own your own business and simply can’t afford to fail, here are 5 steps to ensure your success.  My hope is that they motivate you to get started.

Step #1 – Start A Common Home Based Service Business.

Eliminate the thought from your mind that you need a unique or revolutionary idea to be successful.  Here’s the truth.  An idea isn’t worth shit.  It’s all about the execution and it’s a whole lot easier to execute on a business model that’s already been proven time and time again.

So, instead of trying to create the next Facebook, start with something simple that you can run out of your house.  Are you good with accounting?  Start a bookkeeping business.  Are you handy?  Start a handyman business.  Here are some more examples.

  • Web design business
  • Maid service
  • Mobile mechanic
  • Lawn Care service.
  • Mobile car detailing business.
  • Pool/hot tub service.
  • Landscaping company.

The is just a small sample and there are literally hundreds more to choose from.  Ideally you will choose one that both interests you and fits your strengths.

Here’s a good rule of thumb, choose the most common business possible.  Are there already 100 handyman services in your city?  Great!  That’s a sign of opportunity.  It shows that people are actively paying for that service where you live.

Step #2 – Get a Coach/Mentor.

Importance of a MentorDon’t re-invent the wheel.  That costs time and money and there are way too many people out there that can help accelerate your success and save you from costly mistakes.

Go find somebody who has done exactly what you are trying to do and consult with them.  Build a relationship and learn as much as possible from them.  If necessary, pay them for their time or information.  It’s worth it.

As a new business owner you’ll probably be reluctant to pay somebody for advice, but that’s exactly what you should do.  The time and headache you will save and the increase in profits will typically exceed 10X what you paid for the advice.

One more thing, and this part is critical….actually take their advice!

Step #3 – Learn and Do Your Own Marketing

Don’t fall into the word of mouth trap.

Read books about marketing.  Take marketing courses.  Try and test different marketing methods.

Learning marketing is critical to having a business that can’t fail.  Sure, you can pay marketing companies to do it for you, but all you are doing is outsourcing one of the most important aspects of your business.

Marketing is a skill and you need to develop that skill if you want your business to be resilient.  It isn’t something you do once and never Importance of Learning Marketingtouch again, either.  If you want a business that truly can’t fail, get really good at generating new business.

Here’s a good rule of thumb.  If you have holes in your schedule, spend that time on marketing.  If you don’t have any customers, work on getting some!  If you don’t know how, that’s a great time to learn!

Even if you are busy, you should carve out some time in your schedule to focus on your marketing.

Step #4 – Focus On Service

Maybe you aren’t the best handyman in town.  I know I’m not, yet I’m able to charge top dollar for my services.  Why?  Because I offer a quality service (and I’m a good marketer).  If you want a business that can’t fail, offer great service.

Your service doesn’t even have to be that great, either.  Obviously you want to have the best possible service, but you don’t need to do anything spectacular outside of answering the phone, being friendly, and doing what you say you are going to do when you say you were going to do it.

Going the extra mile is unnecessary when everyone else is too lazy to even get off the couch.  (Tweet: Click to tweet this quote)

The truth is that most service businesses have a low quality of service.  It’s actually amazing to me that some of them are able to survive.  Good news for you, though, because it opens up a lot of opportunity.

Step #5 – Stay Motivated and Apply Consistent Effort.

Do you know what separates successful business owner like Christy Webber from those that fail?  Consistent effort.  It isn’t luck, intelligence, or even circumstance.  Sure, those play a part, but what it really comes down to is whether or not you are willing to stick it out in the tough times.

Everybody experiences doubt and challenges on their entrepreneurial journey.  It comes with the territory.  Check out my monthly reports to hear about some of mine.  Turtle Beating Rabbit In Race

Unfortunately, applying consistent effort requires a healthy dose of motivation.  I don’t know what motivates you, but I’m motivated by freedom.  I always want more of it and it keeps me pushing forward.  It keeps me working hard, writing blog posts, creating podcasts, and providing good services to my handyman customers.

Maybe you’re motivated by supporting your family, or doing something you love.  Find whatever motivates you and draw from that every day and keep on working toward your goal of running a successful business.

Being your own boss isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.

The Take Away

The point of this article is to demonstrate how accessible owning a profitable business really is.  Take a look at the 5 steps above and  ask yourself, can I do those?

The truth is that I don’t know a single person who can’t, yet so many people fail to chase their dreams of owning their own business.

It doesn’t take a whole lot of talent or skill or natural ability to run a successful business.  It actually only requires exactly what you have right now – A brain, a body, and the willingness to get some shit done.

Are you struggling to free yourself from the 9-5?  If so, leave a comment below and let me know what’s holding you back.  Then, share this with at least one friend to let them know that you’re finally ready to take action.

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  • MJ July 12, 2014

    I’m struggling with the idea of starting my own handyman business.
    There’s lots of companies in my town that offer Property Maintenance and the like, but no general handyman services.

    I keep playing with the idea. I have a van, I have tools, and I do consider myself fairly handy around the house. I have great customer skills as I work face to face with clients all day everyday as a kitchen designer and customer care adviser.

    The only thing that holds me back is fear of embarrassment if I fail.
    My (current) boss would be watching with a keen eye and to leave a well paid sales job for my ideal job seems just out of reach.

    What if I can’t pay the bills?
    What if I don’t make enough money?
    Would I take this risk if my partner couldn’t afford to cover costs if it fails?

    Too many ‘what-ifs’ to support a young family?

    I’ll keep battling with my own mind, but I know i’ll take the plunge eventually.

    • James July 14, 2014

      All good points MJ but you don’t have to jump in all or nothing, you can test the waters by taking on a few small jobs on weekends to see how you like it and get a taste of what your earning capacity can be.

      It only takes that one project or job where you will profit more in one day than you could earn in a week on a salary and you will be hooked and wonder why you didn’t start sooner.

      If you follow Dan’s advice and tips it on how to run and start a successfull handyman business you are going to be on the right track, especially if you market yourself correctly and even subscribe to a paid lead service you should do well.

      If you do fail you can always go and get another job, so don’t let fear or excuses hold you back mate.

      All the best with it!

      • James July 14, 2014

        Great tips as always Btw Dan!

      • Dan Perry July 14, 2014

        I love it! Well said, James!

      • MJ July 16, 2014

        Thanks James,

        I appreciate your comments!
        You almost read my mind, I was speaking to a neighbour on Sunday who was moaning that she needed to get her hedges cut front and back and didn’t know anybody that could help her out – naturally I offered my services and will be doing this for her on Sunday this week – £150.00 labour and she will remove the waste as she has a compost heap.

        Already feels good and who knows, she might even pass on my details to family and friends!

        Thanks again, and thanks Dan for the extremely helpful blog!

      • david bedard September 3, 2014

        James, How long have you been a handyman? What is the name of your business. What did you do before?


    • david bedard September 3, 2014

      Hi MJ………………………I have been a kitchen designer for serveral years and am also thinking about becoming a handyman. I would really like to chat with you. Can you reach out to me on Facebook or something. Thanks…Dave Bedard

  • Chris M July 12, 2014

    Great article! I have been following your blogs/podcasts for the past year and have found them all to be informative. I am currently working a typical 40 hr/ week job and one of the only reasons I still am there is because I have access to health insurance for my family. I have been in the planning stages for a handyman business for quite some time but haven’t pulled the trigger yet.
    What steps, if any did you take to make sure that you have adequate health care coverage when you struck out on your own?

    • Dan Perry July 12, 2014


      I don’t have kids yet so my situation was a little bit easier I have to admit. I didn’t completely think it through as I quit my job before knowing I would start a handyman business. I just kindof trusted that things would work out.

      If I was you, I would get a quote on what your insurance would cost for you and your family. Then, punch that information and your other costs into the equation shown in this blog post. That should give you enough to make an informed decision.

  • Charlie July 13, 2014

    Great article Dan, it’s refreshing to hear someone encourage what you refer to as “common home based services”. Too many people think starting a business means creating something that’s never been done and revolutionizing the world. But it’s so much simpler than that, find a problem, and fix it better than the next guy! Keep up the good work man!

    • Dan Perry July 13, 2014

      Thanks, Charlie!

  • Sylvia July 15, 2014

    Great post Dan with your usual spot on advice. I think I like it so much because it reminds me of a post I wrote last week. 😉 http://businessplanmentor.com/get-rid-of-your-startup-fears-2/

    • Dan Perry July 16, 2014

      Thanks, Sylvia.

  • Jim Hopson July 25, 2014

    Big D,
    Congrats!! “Tomorrows the big day….That’s right, I’m getting married!…and I’m reeeeally nervous about it.” Don’t be nervous just remember to breathe, you’ll be fine. The best to you guys!!
    Jim Hopson
    Chesterton, IN

    • Dan Perry July 28, 2014


  • charles March 17, 2015

    I have found this site to be a wonderful resources. Thank you!
    I am in the unique position, where I have nowhere to go but up; I was laid-off from a great paying job in the oil & gas industry. This happened to me back in 2009, and at that time, I made a half-hearted attempt at being a Handyman. Going back to school, and working at soul-sucking jobs did absolutely nothing for my personal happiness. Even getting rehired in oil & gas didn’t make me happy, despite the high pay.
    Now at 55, I’ve finally come to the realization that I can be in charge of my life, not some faceless CEO, in some glass tower somewhere.
    I have a lot of work to do to prepare for my New handyman business, but the more I learn, the more excited I am.

    • Dan Perry March 17, 2015

      Great to hear, Charles! Keep up the excitement and keep on taking action toward your goal and you’ll get there before you know it.

  • Sheri R September 3, 2017

    I’m the “trying to create the next Facebook” and the “I have so many ideas that I can’t make up my mind” person. I find myself now so brain blocked by my own internal decision struggles it’s killing my focus. Your article has helped! I’m going to look into a career coach!