1. Enjoy Your Business
“Relent on your ego — never forget the people who helped you reach your goal”
Owning/operating a small business involves long hours and numerous responsibilities. To avoid becoming burned out by a busy schedule and overburdened by the endless responsibilities, enjoying the business is essential. Without enjoyment, an entrepreneur’s pride in his/her business diminishes. Sadly, the business itself soon follows. To avoid losing touch with the small business, three tips from a small business forum are:
- Small businesses are not 8 to 5 jobs,
- Separate family and business,
- The divorce rate is 5 times higher for owners of failing small businesses.
2. Time Management
“Focus on things that are important rather than what’s urgent”
Time management is organization, “the ability to structure your life and keep tasks and information in order” (The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Small Business by Steve Mariotti). The golden rule for full-time small business owners is the 3000/500 rule: no more than 3,000 and 500 hours per year should be spent working and taking part in community and other activities, respectively. Typically, if these hours are exceeded, both family life and health will suffer. The similar rule holds true for the part-time business owners (those who have a full-time job or are starting a new business) if they exceed the 1,000/750 rule: working more than 1,000 hours per year if under age 40, and 750 hours per year if over age 40. Timely planning is the key to balancing job tasks with community and extracurricular activities. According to several small business owners, here are the top three planning strategies:
- Set aside time each day for planning,
- Focus on tasks and activities that are important — in other words, focus on the $10,000 decision rather than the $10 decision,
- Delegate tasks to employees.
3. Give Back to Community
“It just feels good”
Contributing to your local community stimulates good public relations. In turn, good public relations stimulate a loyal customer base and a long-lasting relationship with the local community. Entrepreneurs have contributed to their communities in positive ways. The following are ideas on what worked for them:
- Regular advertisements in the local newspaper,
- Employing local citizens into their business,
- Learning how to say no. In his first year of ownership, one small business owner received a $20,000 donation request. For the good of his business, he had to say no. A smaller, more appropriate donation was given instead.