Small Business Owner Elliot Stone Gets More Done By Doing Less

Elliot Stone was tired of being a chief cook and bottle washer, and is doing something about it.

While the etymology of the phrase “chief cook and bottle washer” may be up for argument, there is no argument about what it means: someone who has multiple, or, as is often in small business, all of the jobs and duties.

That’s what Stone, owner of Elite Martial Arts Academy in Scotts Valley, CA was doing.

“I was getting bogged down and not able to focus on the things I could have been doing, which is focusing on growth and systems, and working with my employees.”

In small businesses, the operator and his or her team may find it necessary to have to share in the responsibilities of marketing, sales, and service delivery. This includes making sure that advertising is done.  Oftentimes small business owners on a tight budget may choose to do design, format, and print their own ads.

While this may at first seem like a way to save money, in the long run it may actually be detrimental to the growth of the business.

Stone explains, “At first, I used Microsoft Publisher, an easy to use hands on product, and the results were great.”

However, Stone found that he was spending one or two hours a day designing flyers. While this may not seem like a lot of time, it translates to five to ten hours per week, or 20 to 40 hours each month. For him, that was time he could have invested in other activities for his business, such as sales, marketing, or teaching.

In essence, Stone was saving a little money designing his own flyers, but losing the opportunity to make more money in his business by actually growing it.

“I’m a big proponent of doing what you do best, and letting others do what they do best.”

Stone turned to a dedicated designer, who was able to take his ideas for what he wanted for his marketing, and turn them into the flyers he wanted in less time and at a higher quality. The end result was that Stone had flyers that looked better, and done in less time that he was spending. The bigger impact, however, was that he was freed up to focus on tasks that grew his business.

“We’ve been able to pump out ads that give my business a professional image.”

Stone also recognized that other businesses could benefit from his own efforts. He has recently started Martial Art Ads, a company that provides ads that are customizable for each individual martial arts business, that will save owners time as well as give a high quality design.

“Once I saw the ads and were happy with them, I thought that this would be a great service to provide, and other owners could benefit from this. It would be win-win for people, and I get to share my benefits with many other people.”

Elliot Stone is a martial arts instructor and the owner of Elite Martial Arts academy in Scotts Valley, CA. His over seven years of running a small business and doing his own marketing has led him to form Martial Art Ads, a design company for martial arts schools. For more information he can be reached at: