Do you ever feel like running a small business is a thankless endeavor? Does it seem like all that you do for your employees and your family never results in an actual heartfelt accolade your way or a small thank you from those who benefit from your hours of work? Well…you are not alone. The dirty secret of this week from Jack Mencini and Adam Sonnhalter in this week’s Dirty Secrets of Small Business show, underlines the fact that even if you make payroll every couple of weeks and haven’t taken money or a salary for yourself while building the business, no one will seem to care or give you a high five.
Many, many business owners that Jack and Adam deal with as clients of their small business coaching with Maximum Value Partners www.maximumvp.com have come to realize that it is lonely at the top or at least as the owner of a small business that is providing the livelihood for their team and keeping a roof over their family’s heads.
Most of the people who are oblivious to the sacrifices the owner is making or the hard work they are doing will never appreciate what you do because they are what Jack and Adam call “job folks.” Job folks look at work and business as a 9-5 proposition where once you leave the building you don’t think about work until you are clocking in at 8:59 am the next morning.
This is not meant to harbor blame or be disparaging towards job people. You just have to know that they need to be brought into the communication process to understand that the business owner has a passion for what is being built. Along with this passion and excitement of building the teams and the business is a stark reality that brings about sacrifice and countless hours of pondering about the profits, sustainability and challenges, which come with owning a business. If as a business owner you feel that there should be a better understanding from your team on what the business and you are going through, don’t give up on explaining the nuances of your business and how they are an integral part of its success and failure. Through weekly or monthly “state of the business” meetings, you can train your team on what it means to run a company with all the mixed emotions, highs, lows and successes to build an organization that will run to sustain them with a paycheck every two weeks. You can also share with them that hopefully in the future there won’t be that many times when you, the owner, have to forego your paycheck for the health of the company. Explain to them that this does happen from time to time when profits haven’t kept up with either increased overhead or the need to ramp up for inventory or unexpected costs for doing business.
Another common myth in this week’s show that goes along with employee appreciation is that as an owner, you can pay yourself whenever you want. Sure you can if the money is there, but don’t delude yourself that taking money from your bank loan is a good idea. The money has to be there to be paid. It’s perfectly OK to take a salary if things are stable, if things are going more south or receivables are slow coming in, you may want to let your own salary slide rather than tapping a bank loan.
As small business coaches, Jack and Adam give advice to their clients on the owner’s payroll: (1) don’t look for an ongoing paycheck (2) money for your salary has to be there and (3) focus your sights on profit and taking a bonus when the time is right.
Every week, tune into DirtySecretsofSmallBusiness.com to catch up on a small business success story highlighting an experience from one of Maximum Value Partners’ clients. You can also catch up on all the podcasts and learn more about how to be a productive and successful business owner and if running a small business is really right for you!