George Horrigan is Founder and CEO of Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. and from his over 25 years of experience of being a business planner and a CPA he has a proven track record of showing people how to start, grow, manage and take their businesses where they want it to go. In fact, over the past 17 years George has shown over 1,200 people either how to grow an existing business or start a new business.

Besides being a noted innovation and business planning expert and recognized thought leader he personally has started and operated seven businesses and understands the mindset and mentality of an entrepreneur thus giving him both professional and personal perspectives on creating a thriving business. He is an author, speaker, frequent broadcast media guest, and has been recognized in a number of Who's Who National Registries.

George holds a BA in Accounting and a Masters degree in Financial Information Systems from Cleveland State University and is a frequent speaker on various innovation and business planning and operations topics. He loves to show people how to create the business of their dreams, including Creating a Thriving Business is the author of three books, and in 2014 he has a fourth book coming out titled, Work Less, Make More and Have Fun in Your Business.

Creating a Thriving Business by George Horrigan

A practical plan for entrepreneurs that "takes you by the hand and leads you to success as a business owner" (Jay Conrad Levinson, national-bestselling author of Guerrilla Marketing).

Most business owners and leaders have expectations for today, hopes for tomorrow, and dreams for down the road. But how do they get from here to there?

Using a systematic, structured methodology build upon George Horrigan's experience with over 1,200 businesses over the past seventeen years, Creating a Thriving Business shows business owners, leaders, and managers how to solve real-world problems and get the kind of results they want. With a proven, practical, and comprehensive methodology that is simple to understand, straightforward, easy to implement, and extremely effective, readers can achieve their goals faster, thereby turning today's problems into tomorrow's promise.

Creating a Thriving Business shows, step by step, how to create a successful business by reducing the guesswork, trial and error, and uncertainty associated with trying to beat the competition and increase profitability





If you are reading this book, then it is obvious that you want to have a thriving business, which means either you already have or want to start a business. You're in good company—various studies have shown that around 80% of people would like to have their own business! However, the vast majority of this 80% of people do not own a business. Why is that?

The data from the 2010 census shows about 30 million businesses exist in the United States. With an adult population of about 235 million people in 2010, the actual ownership of businesses in America is about 13%.

Why is the percentage so low of actual business owners compared to those who want to have their own business? They are overwhelmed by the thought of having a business, and they do not really know where to start. I have seen this first hand in my work over the past few years with several large university-based business incubators.

With regard to being a business owner, people tend to fall into one of four categories:

1. People who have a dream about owning a business but never act on their dream.

2. People who act on their dream to own a business but never get the business off the ground because they never get around to focusing on the business. Generally this takes the form of mentally deciding to start their business, but physically doing little or nothing at all to begin operations.

3. People who do start a business but lack the business knowledge, skill set, time, drive, determination, etc. that it takes to grow the business; therefore, it stays a small, part-time business, almost more like a hobby.

4. People who properly apply themselves and their skill sets to their business with the result of an operating business.

This book is aimed at people in all four of these categories. For those who fall into the first three groups, it provides a systematic way to start and grow a business. For people in the fourth group, the book will greatly shorten the time and effort involved in taking their business from wherever it is currently to becoming a strong and thriving business.

The methodology that I will share with you eliminates the trial-and-error, guess work, uncertainty, the "what to do next" and the "leap of faith" that plague so many business owners. The goal is to eliminate the situation that I see too often, where the challenge of creating a thriving business is so overwhelming that a person gets stuck somewhere on the road to achieving the hopes and dreams for their business.

If you are a business owner or you want to be one, this book is perfect for you. It lays out a logical, easy-to-understand, step-by-step blueprint in developing a thriving and successful business. The objective is that not to just start a business and then see it languish—you want to ensure that you have a phenomenally successful business!

Having worked with over 1,200 business owners in the past 17 years and having started seven businesses personally, I have learned what it takes to be successful with a business. So whether you are getting ready to start a business or if you have already started your business, the concepts that I present are indispensable in ensuring that you have the best chance of creating a thriving business. I developed this methodology and use it in all my businesses on a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, and day-by-day basis because it works—and it will work for you too!

The material covered in Creating a Thriving Business will ensure that you have the tools to enable your business to become all that it possibly can be. Many books have been written that spell out in a checklist fashion the activities that you need to engage in to start a business. These activities do not ensure that you will have a thriving business, only that you will start a business. These books identify the "nitty gritty" things to start a business but they may miss the big picture of what produces a truly thriving and successful business. The nitty-gritty approach results in a business owner being so focused on the "trees" of a business that they miss the overall foundation of why the "forest" (your business) was planted in the first place. This book covers the big-picture issues as well as the nitty-gritty and how they relate to each other.

If your business is already up and running, then the methodology introduced here will guide you in making sure your business is going in the right direction. Even if your business is already operating, I suggest you still read Chapter 1—Choosing a Business. You will gain some insights into your business and its future potential—knowledge that may lead you to make some changes to the very character of your business. The strategies covered throughout this book will enable you to examine the foundation of your business and determine if you want to change the overall direction of your business or its business model. If you have an existing business, the methodology that will be presented applies to you and your business whether you have:

1. A business that is just a few years old and is still in the start-up phase.

2. A small business that has been operating for many years but it has not yet flourished or taken off.

3. An older and/or larger business you feel has not reached its full potential or is not operating the way it should.

There are seven steps to creating a thriving and successful business. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the seven steps, and the seven actual steps begin with Chapter 3 and continue through Chapter 9. Listed below is an outline of how the following chapters will fit together in putting the "meat on the bones" of creating a thriving business.

1. Choosing a Business

2. Recipe for a Thriving Business

3. Step # 1—Vision

4. Step # 2—Critical Success Factors and Strategy

5. Step # 3—Marketing

6. Step # 4—Sales and Related Areas

7. Step # 5—Producing Your Product or Service

8. Step # 6—Financing Your Business

9. Step # 7—Execution—Innovating and Systematizing

I would like to say one last thing to the business owner who is thoroughly discouraged with their business and who is about to throw in the towel and give up: There is always hope for a business. Having started two unsuccessful businesses in the 1980s and having faced various challenges in five subsequent successful businesses, I want you to know that I understand and feel your disappointment and discouragement that your business has not turned out like you dreamed it would. But I have great news for you. If you absorb and implement the concepts discussed in this book, you can turn your business around.

To give you some real-world examples from people I have worked with, I've started each chapter with a "challenge" that real business owners have faced. At the end of the chapter is the "solution" we came up with together. Although the names and some details of the situations have been changed to protect my clients' privacy, these are drawn on real cases I have worked with. I hope they provide you with some of that old "misery loves company" and in the end with some inspiration that business challenges can be successfully faced head on and overcome using the methodology I outline in this book.

With that said, let's get started on creating a thriving business!