Before I begin I want to congratulate you. For what? For having the courage to launch your business and the stamina to stay in business. I was once a small-business owner, and I know how difficult it is. Not only is it difficult competing in an ultra-competitive global market, it’s sometimes difficult hearing criticism about how you run your business.
Successful small-business owners manage their time well. With so many tasks and people and events competing for your time, as a small-business owner, you must manage your time well and spend time in every area of your business.
Just as we cannot create land, the same constraint applies to electromagnetic spectrum, the real estate on which wireless communication is built. Interesting to Missouri, the congressional committee most equipped to address this modern-day limit includes both of the state’s senators, Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill.
The title of an article in the Ivey Business Journal caught my attention because it explained what happens to business owners who resist change — “Adapt or Die.” It began with this: “Enterprises that do not adapt are in for a lot of trouble. The problem is change: The more rapid the pace of change, the more dire the consequences of stubbornly sticking to old ways.”
I was talking to a minority small-business owner, and he said he couldn’t understand why a business owner or corporate executive would resist having a diverse workplace. I asked whether his business was diverse, and he said it was.
You wouldn’t drive your car month after month without getting it serviced because you know, for it to continue running at peak efficiency, it has to have its regular checkup. Even if it’s running smoothly, you’d still have it serviced because you know you’d have a big repair bill if you didn’t. Why not do the same for your business?
I was explaining to a friend who is also a small-business owner that if he wants to grow his business, he needs to use state-of-the-art technology and best practices. Since I like using analogies, I asked, “What are you using to guide your business: a road map or a GPS?”
The next wave of innovation necessary to buoy rural economies will not come from improved genetics, machinery technology or agronomics alone. Farmers and agronomists must adopt advanced data science and associated tools to factually validate farm management decisions as well as investments.
A poll by the Small Business Majority found that 90% of small-business owners said lack of access to sufficient capital and credit was one of the biggest challenges they faced. But borrowing too much, or doing it the wrong way, has costly consequences.
When setting price, do you track everything that goes into your product or service? You should. Setting price can be difficult, but it must be done. And if it’s done correctly, your business is likely to prosper.
Successful small-business owners are as different in personality as they are in appearance. Some of them are risk-takers and some are risk-averse. Some organized and some not. But from years of observing and training business owners across the country, I have found that successful small-business owners do share three characteristics.