Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Fighting the Good Fight as a Small Business Owner

Last evening, I was looking up YouTube videos on "Top Business Ideas Post Pandemic" and I was able to find some great info... truly material content. I've had the privilege to work with small businesses in many industries over the last 20 years, and there's a certain kind of energy I get when working with small business owners to help improve and make their business better. Well, there's no shortage of helping small business owners during this pandemic because most are suffering in some way whether that's from a disruption in sales, the need for advice on financing, or maybe even being able to help provide some strategic consulting on both short and long term business plans. 

During this time, though, I've been intrigued by the small business owner's 'WHY"... in terms of starting and operating the business in the first place. I'm sure there're a lot of small business owners that have pondered this question over the last few months. I wanted to write a quick post to help those individuals that are thinking about jumping into the small business ownership arena either willingly or even for those that have been forced due to the pandemic. I hope this guide helps in making this choice a thoughtful yet actionable one. 

Know Your Why

First things first... you have to be clear on your "WHY". Before the pandemic, most of us were looking to jump into the small business ownership arena as an option rather than being the only choice you have to feeding your family, sustaining a certain way of life, or just plain ol' survival. In spite of these different reasons for starting a business, you still have to know your WHY. What do I mean? Simply, you must have a deeper purpose other than just saying I need more more or I want to buy a shiny, new toy such as a bigger home or luxury car. You have to tap into the deeper levels of yourself and implant a purpose that transcends both time such as operating a small business for not only the well being of my family, but for future generations once I'm worm food. Or maybe even founding a business to sustain the welfare of a family member or community that suffers from mental illness ailments that render these individuals unable to care for themselves and your business provides the resources necessary to take care of these individuals. Here's the lowdown: the purpose you have for starting an operating a small business has to be BIGGER THAN YOU!!!

Who Are You Serving? 

What will keep you going once you realize that running a small business is really hard and time consuming? Or what keeps you motivated to keep pushing when you have a string of bad sales days or maybe even weeks to the point that you don't get paid let alone having to worry about paying your employees? Or how about this one: you have to have a hard conversation with your spouse or partner about not being able to make the mortgage or car payment this month because you weren't able to close enough sales or maybe even had to refund an irate customer that threatened suit because your product or service delivery did not meet their expectations? What's keeps you going during this moments of absolute horror and shame as a small business owner? Quite simply, the customer, client, member, etc. Remember, you didn't get into business to serve yourself. Now, you may have came up with your product or service because of a personal dissatisfaction, but ultimately your small business exists to serve others and to serve them well. Thus, when you do encounter a day , week, month, or hell, maybe even a year like this, get outside of your own selfishness and remember who you're serving and to what end (hint here... it has to be more than just a transaction where you do just enough to get the customer's $$$). For more insight on the selflessness of business, check out an article I wrote CLICK HERE

What's the Solution? 

If you don't know, now you know... you are not only in business to serve others, but you do so in a way that helps to provide a solution to a problem that your client is having. Again, in watching the YouTube video the other night, it remembered me again that successful businesses are ones that provide relevant and actual solutions to problems that people are dealing with IN REAL LIFE!!! This ain't no game out here as if you needed reminding from how the pandemic as affected and impacted small business. Excuse my language here, but YOU BEST TO BE providing solutions and answers or you're going to get cancelled by the customer. Especially with the rise in artificial intelligence and automation, you may need to revisit the perceived and actual value that your product and / or service offering(s) provide to the client. Here's a lasting thought, your small business is only as good as the solutions / answers it provides to clients in terms of making their lives more fruitful, stress free, and overall more enjoyable

Hope you enjoyed this post. 

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Also, get ready for the new business planning course that I'll be releasing soon