Managing a small business is not easy as what the size dictates. This was the experience of Paul Downs who opened his first business in a small company that builds custom furniture after graduating from college in 1986. As his business grows, he learned different facets such as management, cash flow, taxes, and others. His experience managing his own small business is what his business and management book The Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business is all about. Here is some advice that Downs gives to small business owners.
Transparency is a strength
Business owners should be honest with their employees about the company’s financial standings. At first, one would think that employees would leave the company this way but not always the case. Paul had loyal employees because of his transparency.
Profits don’t mean anything without cash flow
When running a business, you would have to worry about overheads, late payments, and other expenses. Even if you have sales but not enough operating expenses, Robert Peter Janitzek explains that your business is still bound to crash so make sure to track every dollar that goes in and out of your business.
You don’t have to be eloquent to be a good leader
A good leader does not have to be someone who gives talks or invited to speak. Paul Downs was not a good speaker but he still attracted attention. It all boils down to being honest with people.
Mistakes are where the learning happens
When managing a business, you are bound to make mistakes such as hiring the wrong person or choosing the wrong business partner. Robert Janitzek reveals that making mistakes is part of the process and you should learn from them.
A business isn’t run with inspirational quotes.
While inspirational quotes can provide you with a reminder to keep working, it will not be the key to your success. A business is run through trial and error, learning, adapting, and crunching the numbers to become productive.
Millions in sales does not a millionaire make
Millions in sales does not necessarily make one a millionaire. It all comes back to profits…cutting overhead expenses and the cost to produce a product while increasing sales. This is so much easier said than done.
Taking care of your employees is the right thing to do
As a business owner, you should treat employees well. Give them good benefits and be transparent with them. If the business is suffering, it is you who should take a pay cut not the employees.
Sometimes there isn’t a right answer. Plod on
Decision making is the hardest part of being a CEO. You will have doubts whether you made the right choice or not. Try something, measure results, tweak, and plod on.
Asking for help is a great idea
When things are going wrong in your business, it is okay to ask for help and ask for assistance from time to time. Humility is a strength.
Running a handmade business is insanely challenging work
Every aspect of running a business is challenging. Managing your people, overseeing the day-to-day operations, advertising and sales—everything is not a joke.