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Are you running a 'lifestyle business'?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by ChrisGoodfellow, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. ChrisGoodfellow

    ChrisGoodfellow Editor Staff Member

    Posts: 130 Likes: 36
    We generally steer clear of using the term 'lifestyle business' on BusinessZone and UKBF because I don't come across entrepreneurs that self-identify that way; it feels like more of marketing term. That said, I've just got a piece in from Latestfreestuff.co.uk founder Deepak Tailor, which implores business owners to know what kind of business they're trying to start:

    Go big or go home
    This cliché has been misconstrued. Go home does not mean give up. It means accept from the beginning whether you want to create a big business or a lifestyle business, from an office or from home.

    People who succeed and are happy are those who make peace with their decision early and stick to it.

    Getting caught in the middle is where you get hurt. You land in mediocre territory, which is the most competitive space to be in. Either make the most of creating a lifestyle business and go travelling and enjoy lots of free time, or dive in and ‘go big’. Both have their challenges and neither is right or wrong. It just helps to be clear with yourself what you're trying to achieve

    Full article here.

    What do you think? Do you think like this?
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: ChrisGoodfellow Member since: Jul 10, 2014
    #1
  2. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Ace Full Member

    Posts: 2,161 Likes: 688
    Interesting article. Re. "lifestyle business"....

    It means different things to different people. I often find that people who make a bit of money from their hobby refer to themselves as owners of a lifestyle business. Others, including I, would disagree that these are businesses. A business compensates your time with a salary and compensates your risk and capital with profit. If you make just the former and not the latter, you're not a business.

    Then there are those who've created a job for themselves, usually a full-time one ... and often more than full time. They, too, refer to these as lifestyle businesses perhaps because of the perks they are able to enjoy at the expense of the business.

    But PE firms, investment banks, VCs and the like tend to use the term in a derogatory way to refer to small time, owner dependent, unscalable affairs that are very unattractive investment propositions.
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #2
  3. ChrisGoodfellow

    ChrisGoodfellow Editor Staff Member

    Posts: 130 Likes: 36
    @Clinton definitely agree that it sometimes has negative connotations from investors and other third-parties, who are strangely dismissive of something that's really valuable.

    The profit and salary versus just salary is an interesting distinction. Would anyone else back that up?
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: ChrisGoodfellow Member since: Jul 10, 2014
    #3
  4. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    Posts: 25,451 Likes: 7,532
    I'm not sure the article really says' anything useful (except to plug his own business).

    There is nothing wrong with being mediocre. Most small businesses are mediocre - all the plumbers, hairdressers, men in vans, gardeners and so on are just small business getting on with making a living. I'd argue that everybody working for themselves has a lifestyle business but not everybody's lifestyle choices will be the same.

    And most busiensses can't 'go big'. The plumber working 5 day's a week can only grow by taking on staff. Which means business has to double to pay for the plumbers mate. A lot of extra effort for little reward if he is already comfortably well off.
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #4
  5. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Ace Full Member

    Posts: 2,161 Likes: 688
    I'm not so sure they're that valuable, Chris.

    To the owner of the small or micro venture it no doubt has value, but I speak with numerous owners of small businesses and they're usually surprised to discover that if the business revolves around them it's often the case that no investor will touch it with a bargepole - a market value of £0.

    Ask any business broker which type of business is the most difficult to sell and there's one thing they all agree on. It's not the business that's running at a loss, it's the business where the main asset will be leaving post-completion i.e. the "lifestyle" businesses.
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #5
  6. Don Smith

    Don Smith UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 156 Likes: 50
    So lifestyle, according to this chap, it's lots of time off to go travelling and work part time. That's not a lifestyle business, that's semi-retirement.

    So we've either got to be semi-retired, or have the stress of growing a business, employing people, growth etc etc. No thanks, been there, done it and got the T-shirt.

    So that leaves all the fools caught in the middle "getting hurt". You know Joe Bloggs on his window cleaning, Fisicx the web guy, Smith & Family running a couple of shops, Pish Pash selling on web etc. All of whom are making two or three times the average wage in the jobs they've created for themselves. Hmm, doesn't seem to me they are caught in the middle getting hurnt.

    The one's that do get hurt are the one's that start out with grand ideas and aim to high to quickly. So no, this guy is wrong, there is nothing wrong with being small and/or staying in the middle ground. There is also a lot of wisdom in growing a business organically, which by nature you start small, go through that middle ground and come out the other side a secure national company.

    But then again I've never been on Dragon's Den.
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: Don Smith Member since: Oct 2, 2016
    #6
  7. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Ace Full Member

    Posts: 2,161 Likes: 688
    A lot of the "Make money online" scammers claiming to teach people how to make money on the net talk a lot about "lifestyle businesses". To them being able to sit on a tropical beach with your laptop and run your business is ... a great lifestyle - hence the lifestyle business tag.

    This MMO "industry" has died down a bit now, but it used to be big, big, big.

    Incidentally, when I was running the Experienced-People forums we often covered charlatans like these "gurus" and "ninjas" and their lifestyle businesses and we exposed their snake oil. But Salty is the king. He has some great posts on Mike Filsaime, Andy Jenkins, Tony Robbins, Yanik Silver and other well known people in the IM industry

    (Salty's best post ever: 10 Internet Marketers Doing It Right! :) )
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #7
  8. Don Smith

    Don Smith UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 156 Likes: 50
    Weren't the mostly pyramid and ponzi scams?

    What is interesting is what people of certain ages consuder to be a lifestyle business or job. For me, wrong side of 50, its pub landlords, B&B owner, Jockey (horse, could also be disc!), holiday rep etc where the lifestyle was the job. To those maybe fifteen twenty years younger it's the scammers you refer to, and apparently to those under 30 it's working fewer hours and travelling.

    I'm not saying any are right or wrong, it might not even be age related but dependent on the circles you move in. Be interesting to hear what others consider a lifestyle business/job.
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: Don Smith Member since: Oct 2, 2016
    #8
  9. ChrisGoodfellow

    ChrisGoodfellow Editor Staff Member

    Posts: 130 Likes: 36
    Not all value is expressed in $$$$! But I can see why you took it that way..

    @Don Smith Given what Deepak's written I'd say Fisicx the web guy, Smith & Family et al are lifestyle businesses, although obviously I can't say for sure. I'd imagine it's about intent - do you want to scale or are you just, as you say, growing a business organically?

    @Don Smith Given the emergence of this guy, I dont' think being on Dragons' Den a measure of much!!
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: ChrisGoodfellow Member since: Jul 10, 2014
    #9
  10. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    Posts: 25,451 Likes: 7,532
    Nope, they are just businesses that allow the owners to have the lifestyle they want. Deepak is wrong, he only has big business and lifestyle business in his summary when there are a million variants in between. It's not a well constructed or even accurate picture of business life. There is no getting caught in the middle. In the middle is where most businesses exist and do very well.
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #10
  11. Ian J

    Ian J Factoring Specialist Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 3,840 Likes: 1,061
    I quite agree and am more than happy to admit that mine is very much a lifestyle business.

    I will readily admit that I don't work particularly hard and manage several overseas holidays every year. When employed I earned half what I do now despite working all hours of the day and travelling all over the knot end. I could also earn more now if I wanted to push myself but I'm quite happy with my work / life balance which incidentally is the envy of most of my friends.
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: Ian J Member since: Nov 6, 2004
    #11
  12. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Ace Full Member

    Posts: 2,161 Likes: 688
    BTW, just wanted to clarify, all my previous comments about MMO scammers etc., have nothing to do with the article Chris mentions, nor the author.

    I just happened to go off on a bit of a tangent.
     
    Posted: Oct 18, 2016 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #12
  13. webgeek

    webgeek UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 3,505 Likes: 1,304
    lifestyle business = a job
    more than that = a company

    Whether you're planning on it being the next Amstrad, Apple or Alienware, unless you've got deep pockets or startup funding out the wazoo, you'll probably start the same way as if you plan on staying small - namely, starting up without a massive high street address, making use of outsourcers, subcontractors, va's, virtual offices, etc, etc.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2016 By: webgeek Member since: May 19, 2009
    #13
  14. Gecko001

    Gecko001 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    Posts: 1,362 Likes: 201
    Correct me if I am wrong, but to me a "lifestyle business" is a derogatory term generally reserved for businesses started by people who do not want to fit their life around the business like most business people have to do to earn a reasonable amount of money, but want to fit their business around their lifestyle without actually making much money, usually because they have savings or other means of financial support.

    The article perhaps is aimed at people who have a lifestyle business who perhaps do not fall into the above category but actually have thought it through and are making a good income from it just like many other businesses.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2016 By: Gecko001 Member since: Apr 21, 2011
    #14
  15. Ian J

    Ian J Factoring Specialist Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 3,840 Likes: 1,061
    I agree with your definition with the exception of the "without actually making much money" bit as that's not necessarily the case and definitely isn't with myself
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2016 By: Ian J Member since: Nov 6, 2004
    #15
  16. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    Posts: 25,451 Likes: 7,532
    Do we even need to have a label? Does it really matter what sort of business you have, as long as it makes money (if it doesn't make money then it's just a hobby).
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2016 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #16
  17. I

    My thoughts exactly. I hate the way everything has to labelled as something these days and these sorts of articles are some of the worst culprits. Words like "millennial" and "disruptors" just want to make me smash my head on the desk.
     
  18. woodss

    woodss UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    Posts: 601 Likes: 218
    I hate the word "entrepreneur". I can barely spell it, let alone stomach it.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2016 By: woodss Member since: Feb 22, 2007
    #18
  19. Ian J

    Ian J Factoring Specialist Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 3,840 Likes: 1,061
    It's meaning has changed over the years as now it just means company owner
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2016 By: Ian J Member since: Nov 6, 2004
    #19
  20. Gecko001

    Gecko001 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    Posts: 1,362 Likes: 201
    Am I correct in assuming that "lifestyle business" is a derogatory term? It has certainly has been used on this forum in that way when someone comes here wondering why their business is not making money but it is something that they love doing or it suits their family life etc. If it makes a good profit it is just a business or a successful business etc.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2016 By: Gecko001 Member since: Apr 21, 2011
    #20