What I learnt from a Smurf in Trafalgar Square

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One of the pressures of being a business owner is getting the balance right between working in the business and working on the business. I am finding more and more that my clients and I are thinking about how they are  running their business for the benefit of them and their family. A trip to London recently really brought home the point about running an efficient business..


Pat and I had decided to go and see the theatre show, Warhorse. (If you have not seen it I would highly recommend it. Very different from the film. Quite brilliant).


After being dropped off, we had some time to walk around and eventually ended up eating a sandwich sitting on the low wall outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Suddenly, across the square comes a gentleman in a red and blue leather-like suit with a kitchen stool wrapped up in shiny plastic. He puts the stall down in the square takes a Smurf’s head from under his arm, plonks it on his own head and just sits there staring out towards the column.


My immediate reaction was what’s that dic**ead doing, surely he’s not expecting to raise any money for that? How wrong I was.


Within a few moments people were coming up to him and standing next to him whilst their friends took photographs. He of course was playing the field and waving to people and drawing both the adults and children to him.


I walked around to take my own photograph and noted that the money in his box was certainly way in excess of the minimum wage.


Now what we had here was a small business owner. He had minimal overheads, minimal responsibilities but had found a niche which attracted customers. He clearly knew what the market was and how to bring income into his business. Do we have such a clear idea of our market and our overheads?


If all of us are going to use our businesses to drive our future wealth which allows us to then live the life we want to live we have to do the same. For those of us who are expecting our business to provide our retirement income there is a good lesson to dwell on.


If you own adviser is not challenging you on these issues, perhaps we should chat.