It’s not about the money?

Every good business person will tell you that it IS about the money. At the end of the day we need to earn more than we spend and, if there is a profit, all the better. And yet, when I talk to entrepreneurs and business people around rural Australia, rarely is money an incentive for them to go into business. It is more likely to be a need to solve a problem, to fill a gap, or to simply create their own income so they can live and work where they want.

Reading a recent article about Johannes Larsson, one of those online entrepreneurs living the high life on a healthy passive income, he confirms that business success is not achieved by focusing on money.  Johannes openly admits that he started creating business ideas for the sole purpose of making big money. He failed. Repeatedly. It took seven years before he found success with

“Ironically, I only began to see results in my business when I shifted my focus from trying to make money to creating value by providing people with a useful service,’ Larsson admitted during an insightful interview with Celinne Da Costa.

However, as a business grows and staff are employed, it definitely becomes more complicated.

A current trend I am seeing, particularly with the trades, is to appoint a business manager. On the surface it seems like a great idea; to let the owner and qualified tradies get on with the job and clocking up billable hours.

In theory a good business manager will seek to maximise revenue, yet I am observing all too many cases where inexperienced managers are focused on reducing costs with dire consequences. The good employees leave and, most significantly, the bad ones stay.

Do these business managers understand the cost of orientating a new employee and the potential damage to customer relationships?

On the bright side, many former employees often become sub-contractors to other businesses with the capacity to earn more income.

As future trends have predicted, the corporate world is also moving away from an employee model to that of sub-contracting work out requiring more people to be self-employed. This is great news for regional Australia as many start to consider the benefits of rural life and exit our smog ridden, traffic clogged, and expensive cities.

Which brings me back to the article that caught my eye. Larsson says that the second biggest turning point in his business was realising that having employees in a nine-five office structure was defeating the point of making money online, which was to have freedom and location independence. He let his employees go and switched to the “intrapreneur model” – which means people work as entrepreneurs inside the business – to ensure everyone is as motivated and driven as he is.

Those who work on a sub-contract basis can potentially have a more flexible lifestyle and be rewarded according to their efforts, which is a win-win for all concerned.

Kerry Anderson – – businesswoman, philanthropist and community advocate from Central Victoria who is passionate about rural and regional small business