Dear M & M: I am thinking about getting into business any advice you can give me? – Brian
Besides having a product or service people are ready, willing and able to buy one needs to have an inner drive to keep you going when things go wrong. I am reminded by a quote from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you’re right.” The latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index finds that small business owners today work an average of 52 hours per week. The majority, 57 percent work six days a week and more than 20 percent work all seven days.
Sixty-Five percent of respondents say that they make time outside of work for things that are important to them. The small business owners surveyed average two weeks of vacation per year with 14 percent taking no vacation at all. Some of those who take vacation work part of that time (phone, emails, etc.). While two-thirds of those surveyed are content with their work/life balance, an even higher percentage (87 percent) says they’re satisfied as small business owners. The Index reported that 84 percent say that if they had to do it all over again, they would still become small business owners.
The responsibilities and duties of small business owners depend on the nature of their companies. As a business owner you will be involved in every aspect of the daily operations, to include planning, money management, and marketing. To retain their business, owners must know when they should take financial risks. They need to be aware of the size of the market for the product or service they provide, and they must adapt to changing market conditions by creating new products, improving services, or promoting their company in a new and innovative ways.
To add more responsibilities and duties to the daily tasks of running a business a small business owner must understand and offer their products at competitive prices by keeping costs down and buying services and equipment within their budget. Business owners who have employees must hire, train, and supervise them. Many owners run the entire operation themselves. For example, the owner of a shop that sells and repairs bicycles may buy the inventory, make the repairs, sell to customers, and handle the store’s accounts.
The store owner may also unpack merchandise, build displays, and clean the shop. Recently, I had a small business owner tell be he has one hand shaking the mayors hand and the other unplugging the bathroom sink. There isn’t anyone to call in sick to. Not to say there are examples of people who were successful in business that didn’t have any of the following traits a willingness to take risks, being able to accept failure, and getting along with other people are helpful traits a business owner should have to enable them to be more successful in business.