After nearly going broke running a plastic surgery practice, George Huang, MD, turned in his scalpel and became a business coach for small-business operators and entrepreneurs. Huang offers a statistic  that was gleaned through research  and US Small Business Administration figures: 62.8% of all new businesses fail within the first 6 years. Even if the failure rate were less, say 50%, Huang says a percentage that high is startling.

“I learned the hard knocks of business in plastic surgery,” says Huang. He says his business advisers at the time recommended that he contemplate filing for bankruptcy. Instead, Huang says he fired them and began reading and studying the patterns of successful businesspeople. With that research under his belt, people started asking him for advice, so in 1999 he hung up his plastic surgeon’s tools forever and began his second career as a business coach in 1999.

According to Huang, one area in which small-business owners fail miserably is their marketing efforts.

“Most people who go into business don’t know how to communicate their message,” says Huang.

Huang recommends that entrepreneurs develop an audio logo, which is a one- or two-sentence statement about their businesses. The audio logo is a statement of who you work with—your clients—and the problems your business will solve for them. Once that brief statement is created, businesses must communicate other marketing messages as well, including why the business is credible for serving the client, how the business delivers the promised solution, and why the business or solution is unique in the marketplace.

[Business Journal, May 5, 2006]