I also would love to be able to start and develop a successful business with a close friend ("Women," November). In reality, I would probably not be willing to take that risk.
I agree that it is much easier to appreciate and support someone you already have a personal relationship with. I also agree that trust is a key benefit of working with a friend. Personally, I would hate to jeopardize a good friendship, because good friends are hard to find.
Keeping work and personal items separate is such an enormous challenge. When money and work ethic get involved in a friendship, different viewpoints can destroy the relationship. I have read horror stories about partnerships that bear an unequal workload or where one partner abandons the other. Rather than take the risk of losing a close friend, I would prefer to separate business and friends or family.
Chula Vista, California
I read with great interest your article on hot senior-care businesses in the December issue ("Fever Pitch").Thank you for writing such an informative article on our fast-growing industry.
My company, Spectrum Home Services, is the only senior-care franchise to provide seniors with personal care, homemaking, companionship, cleaning, maintenance, yard care and relocation services all in the convenience of a one-stop shop. As you mention in your article, the senior-care industry is booming.
Even though senior care is a relatively new industry, this market is changing, as are the wishes and expectations of our clientele. Just providing companionship, light housekeeping and simple homemaking will soon not be enough. Clients and their families are demanding more, and rightfully so. As baby boomers enter the market, they will demand a higher quality of service and expect greater convenience and a wider list of service options.
Spectrum Home Services
The editorial staff of Entrepreneur is to be congratulated on providing a fascinating glimpse into the world of young, smart wannabes and accomplished millionaires ("Young Millionaires: Class of 2004," November). I find the magazine stimulating and educational in its coverage of many dynamic, hardworking individuals who have plainly established their goals and are driven to attain them.
Now the question comes to mind: Why are these stories exceptional? Is it because they represent the tip of the business iceberg? Are their accomplishments the exception rather than the rule? If we understand the adverse odds of succeeding in starting up a business venture, then the answer is yes!
But do the high failure rates of businesses stem from some immutable law of business dynamics, or can they be changed? Is the typical dream based upon faulty premises or, rather, are the mechanics of implementing the dream haphazardly applied?
This begs the question: Why can we not learn about the basics of business during our high school years? Why do we have to learn the hard way? Bankruptcies and indebtedness, the offshoots of poor fiscal planning, are growing blights on our society.
Academically, we start to learn about the rules of business too late. Business rules our lives. It is the basis of our very existence and yet, when we leave school, we have little or no idea as to how the average business works. Our primary concern upon leaving school is either to go to college and pursue a profession, or get a job. In the latter case, we learn about business from our on-the-job training--the hard way.
A working knowledge of business planning and cash flow control would benefit the average student in everyday life and later assist him or her in handling the budgetary requirements of family life. In the humble opinion of an old-timer business consultant, the fundamentals of business should be a mandatory part of the academic curricula.
In the meantime, Entrepreneur will serve as a fount of knowledge and inspiration. Keep up the good work.
Charles J. Lawrence
Lawrence Business Press
Pembroke Pines, Florida
December "Wheels" pictured the Jaguar XJ instead of the Jaguar X-Type.