Why do we do it? Why go through all the trouble of starting, buying, or inheriting a small business instead of having
a comfortable position at a big corporation? Why worry about making your payroll instead of just being on someone else’s? What is it that makes people want to own their own business so badly? Could it be the independence or the need to prove that you can go it alone? What happens after you prove all these things to yourself ? Do you give up and go back to work for the big corporation? Or do you just keep going because you’re too embarrassed to close your business and look like a failure? You keep working your 12-hour days doing all the little things that you should delegate and
are miserable most of the time—but you can’t let anyone know. Well, get street smart and be a real success. Owning your own business is supposed to be fun and fulfilling, not a depressing situation. You’re supposed to love going to work every day, not hate it.
Is your business really worth what you’re paying for it—the financial investment, your time, your effort, and all of the problems? Are you getting the return you expected? (And that doesn’t mean just money.) If your business is not adding to your life, then it’s taking away from it. You need to find a way to make your business work for you, not vice versa. You should spend more of your time growing and managing your business than working in it.
It’s been said that a franchise company looks for new franchisees who have absolutely no experience in their industry so that they will manage and grow the franchise rather than work in it. If you’re not going to manage your business, then who is? Will you have time to make decisions, perform training, and plan your overall growth strategy if you’re waiting on customers all day? If not you, then who will do the marketing to bring in the customers you need to survive
and grow? Who will keep track of your progress?
People often have the wrong impression about owning their own business. You may be an excellent car mechanic, baker, or tool and die maker, but are you also a good businessperson? Can you plan your marketing strategy to get new sales, repeat business, and longterm customers? Do you even have a marketing strategy? You may be the best carpenter in town, but if you don’t promote your business constantly, how will anyone know about it? Just putting an
ad in the yellow pages or online isn’t enough; you need to use a marketing mix of promotions. Some will work and some won’t— there is some trial and error involved. But in the end, you need to get new and repeat business today, tomorrow, and next year.