Many people jump into small business without giving much thought to what is required to succeed. There are number of myths out there about small business that influence their decision about getting into small business.
However, not everyone has what it takes to be small business owner. We think there are special personality traits that you need to have to succeed as small business owner. While some people consider joining MBA to gain business knowledge from this resource about online colleges it also helps to have these personality traits for success as small business owner. We are on the lookout for signs that point to success as small business owner. Watch for these signs in to see if you will be successful.
The great recession of the last 2-3 years has made many small business owners skittish about spending money even if it can help them improve sales in the future. Many of the small business owners are hunkering down to survive till the sky is cleared. They are happy with maintaining current sales and making reasonable profit. While we agree that these are difficult times for all small business owners, you should not have to sacrifice long-term benefits at the expense of short-term survival.
We believe, there are ways to satisfy both the needs of conserving cash and growing your business at the same time. The key is to utilize low-cost marketing techniques to improve sales combined with flexible operations to control cost. We have covered several of these techniques in previous posts. Below we summarize them for your convenience.
I am reading this fascinating book “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch, who used to be a professor in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. The book is a compilation of his thoughts and experiences he delivered as a last lecture to the students after he found out that he had a terminal pancreatic cancer with only few months to live. It describes many of his experiences in life – from childhood to the end. I highly recommend this book for summer reading.
One of the interesting incidents he describes occurred during their family visit to Disney World when he was a 12 year old. In that he and his sister buy a salt and pepper shaker for $10 for their father with all of their pocket money. However, before they can give it to him he drops it on the ground and breaks it. Very disappointed, they go back to the store with little or no hope of getting a replacement. To their amazement and disbelief, however, the store employee happily gives them the replacement without any charge even though he explains that it was all his fault and Disney had nothing to do with it.
When his father hears the story he becomes a devoted fan of Disney. He continues to take not only his kids, but people from his volunteer group to Disneyland for many years, spending approximately $100,000 according to his estimate.
There are two important lessons to be learned for small business owners from this incident. First has to do with customer service and the other with employees.
When hearing the term entrepreneur most people think of a 20-something, smart looking kid who has just completed high-school or college and is eager to change the world. The images of Mark Zuckerberg or Google founders come to mind. While it is true that many of the famous companies were started by folks when they were in their prime, there is certainly an argument to be made for starting small business by people who are in their 40’s and 50’s.
Popular belief is that many of the people in that age group like to settle down and enjoy their steady lives. But there are number of “old” people who want to try their hands at entrepreneurship and small business ownership. We like to call them “experienced” as opposed to “old”.
So why do we think it is perfectly alright to start small business in 40’s and 50’s? There are number of reasons and they all have to do with what you have collected along the way.
In the previous post we discussed 5 personality traits small business owners must have to succeed in small business. To recap, they are – risk taker, decision maker, organized, delegator and responsible. Those who do not have these qualities should think long and hard about getting into small business or at least find a way to mitigate them.
We think there are 5 additional qualities small business owners need to become successful. In the following we describe what those qualities are and why they are important.