A Day in the Life of a Businessman

Mark Donovan is an entrepreneur and businessman.

“Entrepreneurship is definitely not for the faint of heart,” Mark says. “An entrepreneur spends hours of time–and possibly thousands of dollars–pursuing his or her own business ideas. At the moment, I’m happy to say that my business is profitable. I benefit when it does well–but if sales suffer, I suffer too. Risk and reward are equally high.

“My main business at present is selling software online. I’m able to purchase software in bulk from certain companies and get such a great price that I can charge much less than retail stores would–and I can still afford to hire workers to help me run the business.”

A typical day for businessman Mark Donovan

8:00 a.m. Mark arrives at his rented storefront and begins the day by researching new software and related products.

10:00 a.m. A worker arrives to process and ship orders that came in overnight. “It’s important that I outsource tasks like these that would otherwise overwhelm me and prevent me from staying on top of new opportunities.” Mark continues to read up on emerging technology and software, occasionally stepping in to answer the worker’s questions or offer advice.

10:30 a.m. Mark begins cold-calling schools and businesses, looking for new customers. “I have lots of individuals who take advantage of my deals, and that’s great,” Mark says. “But I try to bring in at least one new big customer per workday–somebody who’ll order software in bulk for an entire institution. This business is a year old, and I currently have about 250 big customers in rotation right now. Many of those only order once a year, but each one buys lots of product each time they order.

12:00 p.m. Mark takes his employee to lunch.

12:45 p.m. Time to review the past year’s sales. “I like to stay aware of what’s selling well,” Mark says. “If I see that lots of customers are buying a certain product or brand, I can spend some time researching related products that they’re likely to be interested in, then give them a call. If I find that a particular niche is taking off–like photo editing software, for example–I look into finding related gadgets and products to offer as a package deal. This can really boost our sales figures.”

1:30 p.m. Mark reviews resumes for his job posting. He’s looking for a part-time customer service person to help him clean out the giant backlog of questions and comments sent in by customers.

“I didn’t expect to ever get so many phone calls and e-mails,” Mark says. “People want to know whether certain software will run on their computer systems. They want my opinion on whether product X or Y is better. They want to know how long their orders will take to be delivered. And on and on. At this point, I’m spending too much time answering these messages, and it makes a lot more sense to hire somebody else to take care of them. I’m sure I can find somebody with a better phone personality than my own, and that’ll free me up to think up new promotions and stay in touch with our big customers.”

3:00 p.m. Mark’s worker stays on the clock to continue filling orders throughout the afternoon and evening. Mark stays on call–but he’s going home for the night.