People have always had side hustles. For instance, can you name a plumber, electrician, or mason who doesn’t do some sort of side jobs for friends and family? How about that person doing “the books” for several small business owners on nights and weekends or that salesperson also contracting with a start up to help get their sales off the ground?
One of the biggest enigmas for small businesses is balancing time vs. money spent on their Marketing Plan. When first starting out most small business owners have more time than money so the Marketing Plan is often 90%+ focused on time with 10% or less focused on money. For example, a new business owner may spend a lot of time going to different networking events at things like the Chamber of Commerce or BNI. If they are more tech savvy chances are the owner will be spending time on social media.
One of the biggest challenges as a small business owner is knowing what to focus on next. With so many folks trying to set priorities for you and your business, how do you as the owner decide what is really important? Should you listen more to folks inside your business (e.g. employees) or those outside (e.g. customers)? What about someone like your spouse or children? Not to mention all those thoughts you have in your own mind. It’s no wonder so many business owners are battling exhaustion!
OK, enough talk about what damage or bad things COVID-19 has caused. We wanted to take some time during today’s show to reflect on all the wonderful things that have come out of the past year plus of this pandemic. We wanted to highlight some of the great things we’ve noticed during this time both from a personal as well as a business standpoint.
Too many small business owners will respond “I don’t know” when asked questions about their numbers. If you are not in the regular habit of reviewing your numbers as a business owner, this is something you should start to change. One of the easiest ways to start is by reviewing your financials monthly. When we say financials, start with your Profit & Loss Statement and your Balance Sheet.
A phrase that can often strike fear in the hearts of even the bravest of business owners is, “Your banker is on the phone and would like to speak with you.” Oh no, you think, what could she possibly want? Does she know about my key employee who is threatening to leave? Did that upset customer call her to complain? Will she be pulling our line of credit?
Business owners can be a worrisome bunch. Oftentimes owners aren’t even sure what to worry about. One of the top worries for business owners, no matter what stage they’re in, is cash. More specifically, will I run out of cash? So how do you keep track of all your money?
If you’ve been in business long enough, chances are you’ve received some unsolicited interest in your business. By “interest” we mean someone is expressing an interest in perhaps buying your business. It likely came in the form of a letter that was either physically mailed or emailed or from a phone call. These letters and phone calls often come from intermediaries so the actual person who might be interested in buying your company has their identity hidden. Do you welcome these solicitations with open arms? Do you avoid them like the plague…or COVID? Likely you’re somewhere in between.
One of the things we fight in our day jobs as business coaches is the never ending poor advice given to small business owners. Perhaps the biggest offense with this advice is folks talking about business plans. It might sound something like, “All you need is a business plan to get started.” Well intentioned advice. But what does this really mean?
Have you ever seen the movie Rudy? It’s based on a true story of a young man whose biggest desire was to play football for Notre Dame. As with any great story there are many obstacles for our hero to overcome including his limited physical abilities. Perhaps the most challenging obstacle that Rudy and many of us face is the doubters around us who tell us we’re crazy for thinking something is possible or that it can’t be done. It’s often easy to give into this fear of failure and start to doubt ourselves.