In my 25 years of small business experience, I can definitively say that all small business headaches can be boiled down to fit into one of two categories: growth and employees.
In this newsletter my primary focus is going to be on addressing topics across these two categories and sharing with you my experience in solving problems as they relate to these challenges. In many cases a specific problem may actually cover both areas but in every case solving these problems reduces your headaches and stress level as a business owner.
I know because I can certainly attest to having had my share of sleepless nights and stress and anxiety across all the various businesses I’ve owned in the last two decades. Beyond that I’ve spoken with literally thousands of other small business owners about their challenges and headaches and tend to hear the same types of problems over and over again.
The good news is most of these problems are relatively easy to solve and most of the time don’t require any significant investment of time or energy to fix. Most of the time it just requires a different approach and a willingness to look at things a little differently or approach the problem from a different angle than you may currently be doing.
The bad news is in my experience a lot of people won’t take good advice and insist on either continuing to do things the way they’ve always done them or on learning the hard way first before finally coming around.
I learned a long time ago I can’t fight this and I can’t fix this and I can’t even necessarily spot this ahead of time. Not that you have to agree with or try everything I say obviously- I’m always open to learning new things, too and a healthy debate as long as it’s constructive and educational.
All I can do is offer my experience and advice and knowledge to everyone who wants it and additional help and support for anyone who shows themselves to be coachable and open to try new things.
If that sounds like you then please keep reading and expect one of these newsletters every week.
On the other hand, if you’re someone who already knows everything then you probably aren’t going to find a lot of value here. We’ll miss you. 😊
When talking about growth a lot of people naturally assume I’m talking about marketing but in fact business growth covers all kinds of ground including financing, sales, price strategy, brand expansion strategy, positioning, equipment capacity, human capacity, space capacity and on and on.
There are all kinds of things that impact a business’s ability to grow in addition to their marketing plan. In this newsletter I will cover these types of growth oriented challenges that I see business clients face and that I have personally faced in growing my own businesses.
When I talk about employees and again covers a lot of ground including everything from having a part-time outsourced VA up to having dozens and dozens of full time in-house employees and every situation in between. The single most challenging management task any business owner faces is the human element in their business.
I have a couple of advantages in my favor in this regard. First my undergrad in college was actually psychology and although I had no idea what I was going to do with it other than I knew I had no interest in actually being a psychologist it did turn out to be an extremely useful degree for a business owner.
The second advantage I had was that in my very early days as an employee I had a few extremely good managers who is behavior and attitudes I could model and I could see first hand how effective they were. In fact my first full time job after college as a restaurant manager evolved into a situation where I would be sent to underperforming stores in order to get them turned around and the common denominator in each of those cases was always immediately obvious poor management.
The stores were part of a chain and so each one was set up to run the same and was selling the same products at the same price to the same type of customer and while locations varied a little bit it was very obvious to see that the main difference between each one was how the manager manage the staff.
A good manager can take a social location and create a top performing store while a bad manager can take a fantastic location and turn it into one of the worst performing stores.
Between my psychology education and my early career mentorship and experience in managing employees they I had a great foundation for becoming a business owner and having only myself to hold me accountable for what kind of a manager I was to my own employees.
My goal with this newsletter is to share everything I’ve seen and learned that’s worked for myself and thousands of clients for taking a small business that’s doing OK and turning into a small business that’s doing fantastically well.
Like I said, the majority of these changes that each business owner may need to make in order to go from OK to great is neither complicated nor expensive nor difficult. All it really requires is the knowledge of what to do and the desire to make it happen.
I can give you the knowledge. You bring the desire.
Together we can make great things happen for your business.