Inside the Mind of a Small Business Owner
thoughts & comments are encouraged
What separates a good company from a bad company? Details! Paying attention to all the little stuff makes all the difference. If you can’t handle the simple individual tasks, how do you expect to handle all the bigger issues when they come up. They say 9 out of 10 businesses will fail, but why? My guess is too many people do not take the time to learn all the boring little stuff to make it work.
Every little company envisions becoming a big company, but they all start in the same place. They start with an idea & the determination to grow. Many startups will have initial success because new ideas garner attention. Why do they garner so much attention? Because they are usually innovative & have not been done before. But what happens after early triumph? You need to manage your achievements properly. This is the pivotal point where you really need to be organized with all the little details. In one of my earlier posts I touched base on this idea. You obviously want to grow, but walk before you crawl or you could get ahead of yourself …
Once you gain a certain amount of success, all sorts of new problem emerge. You have to manage cash flow, insurance bills, every day expense & payroll (among many others). You start landing all these contracts but don’t have enough people to do the work. The old school rule was to get the contract before you hired the help. Nowadays (IMO) I feel it’s more in the middle which makes it somewhat risky, but when is starting a business not risky? You need to balance the additional work with the right employees. If you can’t produce what you promise, you will be out of business quickly. Also, you need to manage your cash flow & payroll. Spend all your money & you won’t make payroll. Late to payroll & you will more than likely lose your help. See how it can get out of hand quickly?
My tip to avoid the bigger problems are “pay attention to all the details from the beginning.” I learned the hard way running my business. I didn’t treat my business as a real business until about 5 years in. It probably set me back a few years but didn’t necessarily put me out of business. These are mistakes I learned from & I was able to keep my head above water, in spite of my mistakes. Looking back though, I think the extra struggles burned me out physically as well as emotionally.
The following list are mistakes I learned well after getting started (these are all things I learned after year 5):
If you have all the tiny, annoying little things in order ahead of time, it will make your life so much easier in the future. Lay a solid foundation when you start so when you are building your business structure, it can support all the new additions. All of these philosophies are cliché & have been stated numerous times, but believe me they can be overlooked & forgotten very easily. If they are ignored you will be doing AT LEAST double the work when you will only have half the time. It is a disastrous situation when it happens. I am not saying it can’t be accomplished but it considerably reduces your chances of maintaining success into the future.
As always, these are my opinions from my many experiences running a business. I am sure there are a few important ideas I did not include & some that not everyone will agree with. I always encourage any comments whether they be in agreement or of the opposite opinion. The sole purpose of these posts is to bridge the gap between business owner & consumer.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts - PRW
Peer Approve is coming along nicely. We are slightly delayed as we are "laying the foundation" for the site. We want it working properly rather than launching it too soon. Hopefully I will have another update within a week or two on the progress.