Angela Cathey, MA & Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D
Brett DiNovi, M.A., BCBA
Brett DiNovi & Associates
Though many behavior analysts start businesses few, if any, receive appropriate business training as a part of their training. We tend to be focused on changing the world and learn business on the fly. This can lead to painful and costly lessons for behavior analysts new to business.
In a recent video by Brett DiNovi & Associates, LLC, Brett provides ten recommendations that can help behavior analysts new to business save some heartache as they learn ‘the ropes.’ Brett’s tips include the importance of addressing certain legal and logistical issues regularly and responsibly. For example, many small business owners make the mistake of not appropriately projecting for their tax debts and planning to pay their taxes in quarterly installments. As a small business owner, or LLC, you may pay up to 45% of your income in as taxes. When business owners do not account for this significant cost in their budgets they can find themselves in a bind with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
In addition to taking precautions regarding your taxes, Brett cautions new business owners to carry insurance to protect themselves but to keep the limits of one’s coverage private. Lawyers on both sides of any dispute may ask for insurance limits and proceed to sue for or deplete resources to those limits. Keeping one’s coverage limits private can help keep disagreements less influenced by those that may simply seek large financial gains. Along with these tips, Brett encourages new business owners to stay true to their word regarding promises and pay. New business owners may tend to make promises to prospective or current employees regarding pay that they are unable to fulfill. Not fulfilling promises or following established pay schedules tends to result in loss of employees, at best.
During this video, Brett also provides several tips to propel you forward in business and keep weight on your business, and yourself, minimal. He encourages new business owners to diversify their funding sources in order to maintain control and independence from too much influence by any one funder. If possible, a new business owner should plan to ‘bootstrap’ their business. ‘Bootstrapping’ is a common term for building one’s business on profits and one’s own finances, rather than seeking large bank loans, lines of credit, or borrowing from friends and family. As much as possible, you want to spend your early days focused on learning what will drive profit and loss for your business and honing your business behavior around maximizing the quality of your product/service and your margins. Success in business is largely driven by the ability to determine what behaviors drive your success and engaging in those behaviors consistently. This can sometimes be a difficult switch for behavior analysts who can tend to ‘pontificate’ or overthink rather than committing to rapid execution.
We hope that you, as a new leader or business owner, find these tips useful and are able to ‘play the long game’ of business effectively. For behavior analysis to spread its influence there will need to be many behavior analytic entrepreneurs learning these ropes and mastering the ability to influence the world through their businesses.
Make sure to check out the full video, and to subscribe to Brett DiNovi’s YouTube channel and let him know what you would like to see in future videos. Also be sure to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!
bSci21Media, LLC, owns the top behavior analytic media outlet in the world, bSci21.org. bSci21Media aims to disseminate behavior analysis to the world and to support ABA companies around the globe through the Behavioral Science in the 21st Century blog, bSciEntrepreneurial, and the ABA Outside the Box CEU series.
Brett DiNovi, M.A., BCBA has the unique and distinguished experience of studying the principles of applied behavior analysis under the rigorous scrutiny of both Dr. Julie S. Vargas (formerly Skinner) and Dr. E.A. Vargas at West Virginia University’s internationally recognized program. For the past 26 years, Brett has used behavior analytic principles to create large scale change across school districts, Fortune 500 companies using principles of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM), and across individual learners. Brett has been a OBM consultant in Morgantown WV, an instructor at West Virginia University, a guest lecturer at numerous universities, a speaker on multiple Comcast Newsmakers TV programs, an expert witness in due process hearings, has publications in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and has been in in executive leadership positions across schools and residential programs nationwide. In addition to an award from South Jersey Biz Magazine for “Best Places to Work,” an award for “Best of Families” in Suburban Magazine, and the distinguished “Top Ranked U.S. Executives” award, Brett’s proudest accomplishment is being a role model and father for his daughter and two stepchildren (one of which has autism). Brett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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