Guest Post by Robyn Flint
Owning a small business has a lot in common with owning a large company. Both require time, capital, and a host of other similar necessities. But some small business owners don’t treat their small businesses like anything other than a hobby.
Sometimes, small business owners don’t see their business as an opportunity. Owners fail to breathe life into their business and work towards growth. They might even neglect to ensure that their business is properly insured against disaster. From professional liability insurance and insurance coverage for your company truck to worker’s compensation and product liability insurance, it is vitally important to protect your business like you protect your home and health.
In addition to purchasing insurance for your business, there are seven things that every small business owner should know. You may be surprised by what they are — and even more surprised by what they aren’t. So let’s dive in.
No one starts a business thinking it’s going to be an easy road — you would be in for a rude awakening. But most people start small businesses because of a calling, a passion, or a dream. Whatever you call it, it’s your “why.”
There could be any number of reasons to start your own business, but whatever your reason, it is the right reason. So when the going gets tough and you start to question if it’s worth it, remember your why. It will always guide you toward success.
If you don’t have a target to shoot for you won’t hit anything. Consider your goals. Know what you are hoping to achieve and work towards achieving it.
Make sure your goals are fluid and grow as your company grows. Make sure to write your goals down and keep them handy for those times when you need a reminder. Refer to them regularly, and when you achieve a goal, replace it with a new one. You should always have goals throughout the life of your business.
Your goals should be thought out in terms of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. What you do today to grow your business can translate into future success. Be ready to take action to reach the goals you set.
The other shoe’s going to drop — it’s bound to happen. As a small business owner, you’ll need to plan and prepare for literally anything. Be ahead of the game and be ready. Have a contingency plan in place for things like a recession, competition, foolproof lead generation systems, growth, expansion, or liability issues.
Do your homework, talk to other business owners, and ask them what works and what doesn’t. Find out their plans and their systems. There is no need to figure out a solution to a problem if someone else already has it.
Small businesses sometimes have difficulties finding and keeping skilled employees. So when you do get lucky and find a diamond in the rough, consider them an asset and treat them as a valued member of your team. Your small business may be competing with larger businesses that may have a better benefits package.
Some folks might think you’re crazy for starting and running a small business. Remember, this is your dream, not theirs. You may hear those closest to you make negative comments, but don’t let those comments fill you with self-doubt.
If you need some encouragement, reach out to other small businesses and support each other. They are probably feeling some of what you are feeling, or have felt it. After all, you are in this together. You both want to succeed. So surround yourself with positive people, encouragers, and supporters.
Your internal dialogue has a lot of power over you and your actions. What you think about can expand. So you should always be thinking about growing, succeeding, and achieving your goals. If that doesn’t do it for you, think about your why.
If you think about success and picture your business where you hope it will be, then you are not wasting time focusing on the what-ifs and the possibility of failure. When those thoughts sneak into your mind, be conscious of them and retrain your brain.
It’s always important for you to manage your money wisely as a small business owner. Invest in profit growth opportunities, invest in yourself, and invest in your business. Look for new ways to attract customers and newer cost-effective ways to produce your product. Your money can make you more money if you invest appropriately.
On the hard days when nothing goes your way, remind yourself of your why. All of the drama, sacrifice, and second-guessing are worth it. But don’t let those things take over your thoughts. Always go back to your why for reassurance. One day, when you’re reaping what you’ve sown, you’ll see that the grind was all worth it.
Robyn Flint writes for QuoteInspector.com and has an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Robyn is an entrepreneur and owner of three small businesses. She is also a freelance writer and published author.