Dear M & M: It seems the longer I stay in business the tougher it gets. Any ideas of what I should be doing to make it a little easier? – Jennifer
Dear Tom: Economic challenges, rapidly changing market conditions, increases in more disruptive technologies weekly, new employee and personnel demands daily, constant changes with regulation and compliance are just a few of the areas today’s business owners must deal with. Many of these things cannot be controlled, but we can’t ignore them. Persistence, determination and having the passion to get up and do it again are key to remaining in business. If you have to set an alarm clock, or really don’t want to be there you probably shouldn’t. Here are three tips or things one can do to make things a little easier. Number one is have passion. You should be waking up in the morning amazed that people are paying you to do what you do. You are the luckiest person on the planet. Enjoy what you do. The second thing that will get you through a lot is hard work. It seems the harder you work the luckier you get. Do the people that work for you feel the same? Is this the best job they have ever had? Are they all working as hard as they can? Eisenhower said, “Management is getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” Is everyone in your organization doing what you want them to do because they think it is the right thing to do? The third thing one must do; we all hear it, we all know it, but is it being done? It is sometimes called working on your business not in it. Step out from behind the counter. Look at your business in the eyes of a customer. Are you happy with what you see? Are the shelves full, do people answer the phone in 3 rings, is everyone friendly, are customers happy, is the place clean, are you offering what people want, when they want it, where they want it, at a price they are willing to pay? Don’t strike out. Have passion, work hard and be customer driven. Remember, there are never any guarantees to go into any business, nor are there any guarantees to be able to stay there. It never gets easy, there is no silver bullet fix. Try and do the three things above and things should go better. It never is easier.