Start-Up Small Business Advice That Gets You Through The Tough Times.

Start-up and small business advice that will get you through those tough times: Why divide and conquer is the secret ingredient you need to succeed.

Start-up and small business advice that will get you through
those tough times: Divide and conquer is
the secret ingredient you need to succeed.



The best start-up and small business advice I can give you is to know your limits.


Sometimes in during the initial onset of planning for your business, you will find that you are physically, emotionally, and intellectually drained.


This is because in the I'm-doing-everything-myself fashion, you have found yourself lost in the details and mired and swamped by the tons of things that you have to accomplish.




It is during this time when you need to consider the principles extolled by Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations (1776)

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In that work, Smith postulated the theory of the division of labor: good ole-fashioned divide and conquer.

Though Smith uses an example of the pin factory, his work gives new entrepreneurs start up and small business advice that is priceless.


    He explains that there are 18 distinct steps in making a simple pin.


  • He argues that if we relied on one man to perform all eighteen steps, then we will find that it will take him hours to make that pin a reality.


  • Instead, Smith points us to a strategic gem that will make starting your own business less frustating.




    Let's learn a little start up and small business advice from the grandfather of economics as he gives us insight into the powerful impact of divide and conquer.


    Let's listen in as Smith describes all of the individual tasks it takes to successfully create a pin from wire:



    • "One man draws out the wire,


    • another straights it,


    • a third cuts it,


    • a fourth points it,


    • a fifth grinds it at the top for receiving, the head; to make the head requires two or three distinct operations;


    • to put it on is a peculiar business,


    • to whiten the pins is another;


    • it is even a trade by itself to put them into the paper; and the important business of making a pin is,


    • in this manner, divided into about eighteen distinct operations, which, in some manufactories, are all performed by distinct hands…"




      Smith concludes by pointing to the big bang impact of division of labor


      According to Smith, one person performing all these sub-tasks could make perhaps 20 pins in a day. Thus 10 persons produce 200 pins in a day.


      When each person performs only one sub-task, the 10 persons working together can collectively produce 48,000 pins in a day. By dividing up the labor there is a 250-fold increase in productivity.

      You can read more in the Wealth of Nations here.




      So…What does this teach today's newly minted entrepreneur? What start up and small business advice can we gleam from his contribution?


      Basically, Smith surmises that each person comes to the table with varying levels of strengths and weaknesses.


      As a new business owner, you must know your strengths and your weaknesses, and then fine tune your business development process to include division of labor where your weaknesses are dragging you down.


      It is imperative that you examine your weaknesses closely and determine which areas of your business would benefit from a little divide and conquer.



      Dividing and Conquering gives your business a powerful boost.



      Your business needs you to be wise enough to figure out which of those tasks may be better suited to be handed off.



      • Maybe you've found yourself dragging your feet on marketing or web development or product development because you just don't feel like juggling all those activities.


        In response to having to juggle it all, you find yourself bogged down and unable to fully develop your business to reach it's full potential.


        It is during these moments that dividing and conquering can help pull your businesss through.


        Your business will fare much better by handing off some of your marketing efforts to someone who gets a kick out of finding and connecting with potential customers.



      • Or, perhaps your business would be better suited to placing your initial web development efforts into the hands of someone who knows the ins and out of the web like the back of their hand.



      I hear you thinking to yourself, "but that seems expensive...I don't have the money or the time to pay a specialist to work with me."


      I understand.

      There are alternatives.

      The best start up and small business advice that I can give you is to use your entrepreneurial prowess to overcome some of those blocks that seem to be standing in between you and success:


      1. You could call up that buddy of yours who happens to know a lot about web development and listen to his ear for a moment.


      2. You can turn to the websites and blogs of various web development or marketing gurus and listen in to what they want to tell you.


      3. You could form an advisory circle for your new business that consists of a number of people with varying backgrounds and interests that could then advise you with how to make the best of your time.


      4. You could register with your local Small Business Association and or local SCORE organization and find a mentor that has the specialized skill that your business desperately needs.

      The possibilities of divide and conquer are limitless.


      This is the best start up and small business advice I can give you: Take the lessons of divide and conquer to heart.


      The best gift you can give your business is the opportunity to expand and grow in a way can effectively and efficiently meet market need.


      Recognize your strengths and your weaknesses, then consider my start-up and small business advice: