I also write a column for the ASD&C. "Becoming A Dealer" gives guidance to new and aspiring dealers on the stamp business. I get some feedback on my columns. I enjoy writing, but I also enjoy sharing ideas and experience with others so that they can learn how to avoid the common mistakes that many dealers make in this business. Like many small businesses, many new stamp dealers are out of business within two years of starting up because they don't understand how to properly operate a small business. They struggle for a short while, give it their all, and throw in the towel.

I have a few customers who are aspiring dealers and I try to give them some advice and answer questions. I think the biggest surprise to a new dealer is that being a dealer is about 10% of understanding stamps and about 90% of knowing how to operate a business. Which is why I think many small dealers fail so quickly. They know their stamps. But they have no idea how to develop a budget, prepare advertising, understand finances, and the thousands of other business related tasks that ANY small business owner needs to understand.

If you're thinking of becoming a stamp dealer, check out a couple of books from Pat Herst and Pete Mosiondz about the subject. Read my article in the ASD&C. And be prepared to put in a lot of hard work to make your business a success.

Someone once told me that the best thing about being your own boss is that you get to decide which 23 hours out of the day you want to work. That is so true. Anyone can open a business and hang out their shingle. Successful business owners put in the time required to make their business a success. The stamp business is so much more than just displaying some stamps and waiting for orders to roll in.