Chester Says: An Autobiography of a Business
By George I. Martin, EdD
Imagine if a business could speak for itself and you added an imaginary partner that would offer additional insights to help you succeed.
This book is written in the context of our environment: a mostly suburban area several miles from Richmond, Virginia. Travel just a few miles in any direction from our location and you will find vast differences in demographics. However, since our clientele have come from many walks of life, we believe sharing our experiences can be valuable to anyone wanting to start a small business or who is growing his or her business.
As of this writing, we have been in business for seven years, well within the time frame of the three-to-five years experts insist are necessary to remain in a business to ensure its viability. The context of our business is education, an area of business that is here to stay but valued by some far more than others.
We explain first hand various choices we have made, including early decisions about whether to begin a business, how to promote it, dealing with landlords, establishing relationships, and how running a business affects one’s personal life. Browse a bookstore for information on starting or running a business, and you will find much advice: legal, investment, marketing, personnel, etc. Although books have written by CEO’s of major corporations, few books are available for laypeople who wish to start and/or maintain a small business.
This book is a narration based on personal experiences, with each chapter followed not by advice, but by one or more lessons learned. What has worked—and not worked for us (my wife and me)—may or may not work for you. However, we surely wish such a book had been written before we had begun our own business. We would have benefitted from foresight and saved much money, time, and tribulations.
The format of this book is not sequential or chronological; rather you will find that some areas overlap from time to time. Chapter length will vary considerably.
Our imaginary partner, Chester, will make comments at the end of each chapter.