As a small business owner there are things we should be focusing on, but probably aren’t. Take it from a guy who has run a number of small companies and learned the hard way. Here are 5 priorities for a small business owner.
1. Your family.
Business owners are looking to the future. Their families are not. You may understand the purpose of long work days, but children just understand that dad or mom is not around – thus purveying that work is more important than they are. After awhile your spouse may come to believe that your business, not your marriage, is more important to you. Just ask any divorced business owner to confirm my point.
Working yourself ragged may be great for your clients and your bank account. Yet eventually it will catch up to you. Like the saying goes – The young spend all their health to gain wealth, and the old spend all their wealth to regain health.
If you can’t do what needs to be done because you are sick and injured, your competitors will be happy to take your place.
3. Underestimating the value of current customers.
As a small business owner we typically want to get bigger, and this requires increasing our client/customer base. It’s easy to overlook current customers in search of new ones. I have found servicing current customers properly is the best way to expand, because happy people tell others. In reverse customers are finicky and can drop you, no matter how long-term or dedicated you think they are to you.
4. Don’t let competitors dictate your actions.
Setting yourself apart as the best alternative for your customers is a great way to beat your competitors. You must be the ones they want to copy not vice versa. If you copy them you become like them and not better.
People love using the best, so stop worrying about your competitors, and do something that sets you apart. Remember to respond and not react.
5. Use the money you earn to make more money.
It’s easy to spend all the profits on nice things. Yet often ‘nice things’ cost money to use and keep up, and thus become liabilities. Small business ownership is often a time of feast or famine. So make sure you invest money wisely in things that increase in value or pay a dividend outside of your business or industry. Your ability to make money in your current company can change at any time, and you may need that money to survive tougher times.
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