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Lessons learned from 40 years running a small business – Doug Anderson

Small Business Doug Anderson

Doug Anderson has created a Management Training Program used by over 300 businesses in the past 15 years. The program objective is to increase the business and management job skills of the business owner and their staff. The program comes from the experience of attending 25 years of sales training programs from large corporations and over 100 other management training sessions.

In addition to years of business management experience, DA has also trained business owners through volunteer work with Futurpreneur, SUCCESS, and the YMCA Entrepreneur Program.

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Vancouver Business Network

Da Top Talent Website

Doug Anderson Linked In

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Read my notes from this event to discover how you can DESIGN your business to help create the kind of LIFESTYLE you want. Instead of having your business rob you of your life. Your business should not ‘own’ you. You should own your business.

Doug Anderson has helped over 500 hundred business owners over the past 35 years. His passion is to provide world-class business advisory services for entrepreneurs and business owners. He is dedicated to helping people achieve and succeed.

Learn from Doug Anderson’s experiences to avoid mistakes and be motivated to take action. His wish is to provide you with some thoughts and tips to help you build your business. You will also discover the three most important personality traits you’ll need to be a successful business owner. He goes over the greatest challenges a small business owner faces – along with the medicine for the pain. You don’t have to feel like you’re in prison.


“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own” -Benjamin Disraeli

Success Tips for Small Businesses with Doug Anderson

You need to get clear on what you want out of life. 

  • What are your dreams?
  • Who do you want to be?
  • What do you stand for?
  • What is your legacy?

Design your business to help you create the kind of life you want. Does your business serve your life purpose? Don’t start a business until you have worked on your life. Be on a mission.

Most small business owners don’t do this. Their business and lives are not created by design, but by default. Then they work and work… and wonder what it’s all for.  They usually hate Monday mornings…

Instead build a business which gives you more life, instead of robbing you of your life. Your business should not ‘own’ you. You should own your business.

Biggest Challenges Small Business Owner’s face and Key Area’s to Master to Run A Successful Small Business.

Read the E-Myth by Michael Gerber

  • In this first new and totally revised edition of the 150,000-copy underground bestseller, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business…
  • To run a successful small business you must master these key area’s of business.

The E-Myth or Entrepreneurial Myth

Your Marketing, Lead generation, and sales process could be improved.

  • Define your lead generation process
  • Define your lead conversion plans
  • Do you have scripts
  • Are your processes well organized?
  • Have you had an independent opinion?
  • Have you taken sales courses lately?
  • What’s the last book on sales you read?
  • Was your 2017 marketing plan done before Christmas?


  • Communication Skills and “People Effectiveness”
  • (Do you have the right people in the right roles?)
  • Plan your org. chart, then hire
  • Do reference checks but don’t take their information as facts.  Use these references to dig for other people you could talk to. Use all sources to check references before hiring them.
  • Always look for people smarter than you
  • Remember the old business manager advice, hire slow, fire fast.

Use ‘work list’ instead of  ‘job description’

  • It’s important to use ‘work list’ as I’ve been told by Michael Gerber, author of the -E-Myth Revisited business book.
  • ‘Work list’ is similar to ‘job description’, but job descriptions are tough to change and people feel differently when their job description is changed.
  • In some union environments, it’s a sore point and can cause lots of friction.  This might be counter-productive in a small business.
  • Best to make the role change process less formal…by using ‘work list’ and let the employee know its dynamic and changes often.
  • It’s a good idea to change the work list in the early stage of one’s career as a small business owner need lots of tasks accomplished.
  • I think it’s important to write at the bottom of the page “subject to change at a moment’s notice by sole discretion of management” and to review this document at the early interview stage, so you attract the right people and set the right initial expectations.
  • Some job descriptions in the medical community can take up to 18 months to change.  Small business owners need more flexibility from their employee’s and lots of multi-tasking.

Organizational Chart Doug Anderson

Time management and prioritization

“Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day, you fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.

Kicking around on a piece of ground in your hometown, waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.  You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.”

“No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun”.


Decision-Making & Goal Setting.

  • Your goals and ideas need to be written down and committed to.
  • Try putting it all together on a vision board that you can look at every day.

Systems and Processes Doug Anderson

Systems and Processes

  • Most small business owners lack this. You need systems.
  • Put the right ones in place and work on improving them.
  • Document all repetitive tasks
  • Put the right systems in place to improve.
  • Run your business like a franchise
  • Lack of systems leaves people confused
  • Imagine these without ‘systems’:




    • What’s YOUR Mission?
    • What’s YOUR Vision

This quote by Emerson reminds us to push into new areas. Be unique…. Not a sheep.

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


  • The science of the management of money and other assets. The management of money, banking, investments, and credit.

Seek mentors and build your own board of directors.

  • A great way to get a business going is to find out what other people have done to achieve success and implement those strategies into your own company.  Find mentors who have knowledge of your industry and will give you time out of their day to help you.
  • 15 years experience
  • Someone well connected in your field.

Consider forming a Mastermind group

  • Read Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich”.  Make your own special ‘club’.
  • Napoleon Hill (October 26, 1883–November 8, 1970) was an American author who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success.
  • Meet more people that do what you do.
  • Collaborate and share skills.

*Here is your bonus tip, I often ask “when is the last time you really took a vacation”?

  • You should be going on 4 vacations per year
  • 2 trade shows for work
  • 2 personal vacations
  • You need to get out of town and appreciate the world

Three most important personality traits related to success in business!

1 = Ambition

  • Driven to achieve and to be successful
  • Desire to attain career excellence
  • Respond positively to competitive situations
  • Aspire to accomplish difficult tasks
  • Set and maintain high goals

2 = Tough-mindedness

  • The ability to accept strong leadership and
     criticism without emotional sensitivity
  •  Do not need excessive praise, support or
     encouragement from their managers
  •  Do not become easily upset by problems
  •  Can accept rejection and disappointments

3 = Self-confidence

  • Believe they have the skill, knowledge,
     and experience required to be successful   
  •  Have unfaltering trust in self
  •  Handle unexpected situations well
  •  Quick to express opinions, beliefs, and ideas

See DA Top Talent Business Assessment questions and complete this every year to compare results.


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  1. DA DA
    January 24, 2017    

    I like this Nathan !

  2. Mo Mo
    January 24, 2017    

    Great stuff. Thanks for helping our business flourish over the years.

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