Small Business Matrix

By Hillel Weintraub

The Small Business Matrix: Are You ‘The One?’

So you just started you’re small business, or are about to be a small business owner? Congrats! Did you ever stop to ask yourself, why are you a small business owner: Freedom? Control? Not having to answer to a (insert title) type of boss?

Every person has his or her own reason to become a small business owner: wanting to get out of the rat race, passion for a profession (such as florist) or a shrewd understanding for a business opportunity. Sometimes, however, in the feverish excitement of setting up the business, some of the harsh realities are given a back seat, only to poke you on the shoulder at the most inopportune moment.

If you’re in the planning stages of becoming a small business owner, or just started out as one, here are a few important factors to keep in mind:
The Long hours

There are plenty of advantages to being ‘your own boss.’ At the same time, you do want your business to be profitable. You do want to build a sound customer base. And there’s all the issues
that small businesses typically deal with: bills, rent, utilities, repairs, supplies, budgeting, marketing, etc. Those things are ongoing, and they take time.

You are the leader

If you have a staff, whether it be two, five or ten, remember that you set the ethic tone: if you work hard – they work hard, and vice versa. The culture you instill in your small business is hugely significant.

Freedom – and what it comes with

Owning a small business gives you a lot of benefits: you decide the direction of the business, how it looks, what customers you’re looking for, etc. On the other hand, small businesses do bring with them their own share of problems, which are in a way like dental problems: keep ignoring them and keep growing under the surface, until you’ll be faced with brutally painful (and expensive!) consequences. So, best douse problems while they’re still low-key. Or, as they say, the best way to solve problems – is to prevent them: Supply problems, various location issues, (bills, business license fees, etc.), employee problems, etc.

The octopus factor

Many times people begin their own business, believing they know what they want and how they’re going to do it, how and where the profits will come from. Once you open your business – whether It’s a hair salon, event planning, roofing, etc. – suddenly you’ll discover that your two hands aren’t enough: you’ll need eight (if not more) to handle phone calls, marketing, meetings, customers, promotions, business license issues, website setup, online marketing, etc. Until you have (or unless you already have) someone to assist you, when starting out your small business, you’ll be in charge of the majority of the tasks.

Making sure you take care of yourself

Investing in your small business is well and good, but if you don’t invest in your well-being as well, who knows for how long you’ll be running your small business? Sacrifice your health for your small business and you’ll surely end up with neither. Healthy eating and time for physical exercise is no less, if not more, important than working on your next customer.

Not forgetting what the world looks like outside:

Having a balanced life is not simply more “normal” as some people might say. Taking a break from your work can actually be stimulating to your mind, while at the same time providing much-needed rest for your brain.

Thinking ahead

Very often, it’s very easy to get caught up in the moment of the daily business grind. One of the secrets of being a successful business owner, though is the ability to think ahead
Disorganized is NOT the new organized:
The number of successful, disorganized entrepreneurs is few and far between.

Be a people person

One of the crucial elements for a successful small business is being a people person. You’ll need to build relationships. Network with people at events. Keep in touch with customers. Mingle with a crowd. Not only via electronic media, but also in-person and by phone. People want to know they’re talked to, not sold to.

Be creative

At some point or another, you’ll need to “be creative.” You’ll need it in all aspects of your business: budgeting, marketing, handling difficult customers, meeting deadlines, unexpected difficulties in servicing your customers, etc.

Embrace digital

To build and expand your small business, you’ll want to use the powerful (yet easy to use ) online tools at your disposal: email, social media, online advertising, etc. There are plenty of tools that can make online marketing a lot simpler for you (such as Algomizer’s Ad-Assistant) and are worth checking out.

There are advantages and rewards for being a small business owner (besides the fact that when someone asks you what you do for a living, you can say, “oh, I own a small business…”)
However, the road can be rough and paved with unexpected “surprises.”

So, if you’re “The one…”
Good luck!

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