No Man’s Land – Stuck Between Small Business Survival and Success

A great family and friends, beautiful home, nice cars, regular vacations, all the material things you could ever want.  Your life is a dream.  Sound familiar or like what you want for your life?

I meet small business owners all the time that live this lifestyle.  The problem frequently is they don’t realize how close their supposed dream is to a tragic nightmare because what they believe is business success is really only business survival!

Here’s what I mean.  Many small business owners think because their small business is profitable that they are successful.  If you look at the stages of business growth from my previous post At What Stage is Your Small Business Growth? you’ll see profitability only places you in the “survival stage”.  It is sustainability and/or growth that put you into the true business success stage!

Too often an owner’s presence is required in order for profitability to be maintained.  If the owner takes an extended leave of absence the business’ profitability suffers as a result.  This means success is tied to the owner NOT the business!

So what? You may say.  But, this scenario creates enourmous risk for many more people than most owners would care to admit!  The owner’s family is at risk, as the liabilities associated with the business may be more than they can financially shoulder if the owner died unexpectedly.  The employees’ jobs and livelihood are at risk as without the owner the company ceases to exist.  Vendors and customers that rely on the company’s products or services are also at risk.  All of this is tied to one person – the owner.  So, you tell me, does having all this risk tied to one person present a problem?

So how do you mitigate this risk?  By transferring it from the owner and spreading it around within the business?  You do this by creating business systems, which is a major objective of the small business growth model success stage.  Establishing business systems or procedures is not usually a skill the average person possesses.  So, small business owners usually get stuck in no man’s land and struggle between survival and success as a result.

A big benefit of making this transition is increased value to the company.  Systems that create consistent cash flow and profitability for a business are key motivators to real business investors.  The ability of your business to demonstrate it can operate without you makes it very attractive to buyers and investors.

So making this transition improves you ability to exit your business and maximizes your the return on investment – your business.  In fact, DE, Inc. has an FREE eBook that can help you understand what to do to get out from under your business.  gets involved with clients when they are thinking of exiting because they have not set up the proper systems to allow their business to function without them.  The reality slaps them in the face when they begin the process and realize their company is worth far less than they thought it is worth because cash flow and profitability are still heavily dependent on their efforts.  Few buyers or investors will look seriously at a business built in this manner.  Many of the tools on this website help you begin the transition.

Do you know a business owner stuck in no man’s land?  Share this post with them.  They will thank you for getting them on the road toward achieving real business success.

How have you seen others or you yourself dealt with this problem?  Share your story so that others can benefit!

About Dino Eliadis

Dino Eliadis has over 25 years experience in creating and leading high performance teams and organizations. His talents spans many different industries where he focuses on assisting small business owners to make measurable improvements in overall business performance thus increasing their “book value” by Tuning the Revenue Engine. The result: increased productivity and improved revenue growth, leading to maximized profits.


  1. Your airltce was excellent and erudite.

  2. I am looking to start a ladunry service/laundromat in my hometown. I have a superb business plan and location(location is everything!) for this business. The problem is MONEY! $250,000 to be exact. Of the 5 aspects banks/investors look for, I only have 3. 1. Experience I have been a store manager in the retailsector for 4 years, and have handled P L businesses quite well.2. Credit Score My credit is around 7703. Business Plan- Amazing business plan for the ladunry business (have read books, websites, join memberships over the last 3 months to gain better insight of ladunry service).4. Equity-NONE. Just had a baby with my ex-girlfriend which drained all my savings.5. Collateral-NONE. Not too many 24 year olds have enough collateral at this point. My family members have all owned their own businesses. I know what it takes to run your own business. I know that if banks/investors could see my work ethic and enthusiasm they would help me. CAN YOU?


  1. [...] Creating Goals That Motivate March 2, 2011 By Dino Eliadis Leave a Comment In my last post, No Man’s Land – Stuck Between Small Business Survival and Success, I shared the fact that while many small business owners have personal success they do not have [...]

  2. [...] a previous post entitled No Man’s Land – Stuck Between Small Business Survival and Success, I shared a common problem that many small business owners think they have a success business when [...]

  3. [...] you must understand if your small business growth does not reach the “success stage” of the growth cycle, you will always be enslaved by your business!  To get there you need to [...]

  4. [...] can get a better idea of what I mean by “stuck in no man’s land” by reading my previous post of the same title.  It does a very good job of sharing why small [...]

  5. [...] so you’ve figured out that you are stuck in no-mans land.  You understand the goal and objectives to achieve the success stage of the growth cycle and are [...]

  6. [...] what happens to your family, employees and their families, vendors, and customers?  This is the stuck in no man’s land scenario. Are you [...]

  7. [...] think.  Read this article to see if your business is stuck in “no man’s land.”  [Read More...] This entry was posted in Small Business Growth. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here [...]

  8. [...] If you’re not sure what the stage of growth of your business, I recommend the article At What Stage is You Business Growth.  Most people seek my help when they realize that they are stuck between the survival and success stage of the growth cycle. [...]

  9. [...] sort of set the stage here.  If you’ve read my past posts on being stuck in “no man’s land” you already know that we’re talking about the Survival Stage of growth [...]

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