A Basic Guide to Small Business Ownership and Managerial Training

Business ownership is an extremely tempting form of income for many people. The idea of creating your own work hours and environment is great, and the constant opportunities for your ingenuity to be put to use would have any creative person asking, “where can I sign up?” Although there are huge perks to owning your own business, there are twice as many issues that come along with it. Between the training of employees, store financing, legal issues and many other things, A business owners head will almost always be spinning.

Depending on the amount of time you yourself will be able to put towards your business, managerial hiring and training will be one of the most crucial initial tasks. Any manager should be able to relay information quickly and efficiently. Additionally, solid leadership skills will also prove very helpful. Give managers insight towards your reasoning or train of thought for important decisions you have made. By allowing them to further understand how your business is run, employees will feel as if they are part of a team and begin showing more commitment and dedication towards improving your overall business.

Regardless of how much is put into the hands of your managers, the basic financing and merchandise purchasing will almost always be left in the hands of the owner in any small business situation. Deciding exactly where to allocate any capital money or earnings can sometimes be difficult. Consider offering short questionnaires to customers that might give you a better understanding of exactly who you are marketing to and which advertisement techniques are working the best. If you aren’t the sole beneficiary of your business establishment or received funding through various investors, there will be a large amount of people awaiting your success. Not only will you have to satisfy your customers, but you will also have to satisfy all your investors and colleagues.

During the initial stages of your business,be sure to work out all details and inform potential investors of realistic outcomes and results – any investor breathing down your neck will make it difficult to make the important decisions you will need to make as a small business owner. Issues that never crossed your mind are bound to arise as your business progresses, and these are only a few of the things that you should be aware of. Be sure to inform yourself of all information pertinent to your business field and location, including competition and consumer-base.

Exploring Business Ownership – So You Think You Want to Be in Business? (Part 1 of 7)

This series is dedicated to helping “wannabe” business owners determine whether they’re a good candidate to venture forth into the world of business ownership.

Many times those who have been laid off or downsized, or are in danger of that happening soon, begin to actively think about business ownership. Typically, they’re tired of the uncertainly of their present position, or simply have that entrepreneurial itch and are considering striking out on their own. This may describe your situation and you might be wondering whether it’s best to continue in the employment world or if it’s time to take the plunge.

So, how do you test the waters to know if you have the risk tolerance, level of motivation, and personal attributes necessary to succeed in the business world? Read on.

So You Think You Want to be in Business

Maybe you’re tired of working for “the man” and you want your own “gig”. Or you might have a great idea that you’re sure will work. Or maybe you want to build wealth by starting and building a business to sell at a tidy profit. Or maybe you dream of creating a “gentleman farmer” lifestyle where you simply hire someone to work hard in your business, while you collect an owner’s check at a retirement resort in another state (or country). There are many reasons people start or buy businesses. Most of them have a root in the dissatisfaction with their current situation.

What Kind of People Do Well in Business?

Conventional wisdom says you have to be a “sales type” to be successful. However, Bill Gates is the world’s most famous geek, is definitely not the sales type, and didn’t even finish his undergraduate degree at Harvard, yet few would argue with his success.

While there are some traits that serve owners better than others, in my experience nearly any personality type or style can be successful in business. Rather than focusing on whether someone is outgoing, the basic ingredients I find important to a candidate’s success are a clear understanding of what they want to achieve, a high level of self-motivation, the willingness to ask for help, and the ability to change when business conditions or market needs require it.

Typically, natural sales-types are not good at detail, yet successful businesses must deliver everything promised, when it was promised. So the challenge for the sales-type is to recognize that details are important in running a business and they must have a “dot the ‘i’, cross the ‘t'” person filling these functions.

Likewise, those who see themselves as “geeks” are great at detail, but are not comfortable with the self-promotion and personal contact necessary to create prospects and generate sales. So, the challenge for the geek business owner is to recognize the importance of the sales function and ensure a sales type is in it.

So, it’s far more important to recognize that a successful business requires all personality types working together than it is for the owner to posses a particular personality style.

Everyone wants to be successful in business! In part 2 we’ll discuss what your definition of success should be.

Business Ownership – Finding the Right Business for You

Do you have the net worth you desire?

Do you have the flexibility and freedom to do the things you love? Family time, travel, charitable interests, sports, hobbies, etc.?

Do you enjoy getting up every morning and starting your day?

If the answer to any of these is no, ask yourself “why not?” Could it be time to find a new job or career? Should you get another job? Should you open or purchase an independent business or franchise?

The options are many, but where do you begin?

Most career decisions are based on emotions. Once chosen, you try to fit your life into that career. Wouldn’t it make more sense to fit your career into your life?

Many things play on our emotions when considering a career change: the level of prestige your career may bring; the name of the company or business; the income potential; love for the product; perhaps it’s related to a hobby. We call this an “outside-in” approach to finding a career.

Some perceive fast food restaurants as good businesses to own. Everyone wants to “own” a McDonalds, but no one ever wants to “buy” one. The busier the business, the more money they must be making.

Emotions prevent most individuals from seeing the “cost” of ownership. Fast food restaurants are certainly good businesses to own, for some people. But, owning a restaurant isn’t right for everyone.

To determine what is right for you, you must first determine what you want your life to look like and what you want your career to do for you. Determine your goals, needs and expectations and then look for a business or career that will help you achieve your goals. You must set aside your emotions and base your decision on facts.

Are you happiest when in charge or when working as part of a team? Do you enjoy dealing with people or would you rather work by yourself? Do you like diversity during the day, lots of activities or do you prefer predictability and consistency throughout the day? Would you want something to build, grow and pass to your children or to build equity for future sale? Where do you want to be in five years? Are you looking for security, financial independence or a place to put in eight hours, collect a paycheck and go home? We call this the “inside-out” approach to selecting a career or business.

After discovering yourself you might ask, “now that I know all these things about myself, how do I know if I should go find a different job or open a business? And if I decide on business ownership, which business will meet my goals, needs and expectations?”

Most people know what it means to be employed; however, most do not know what it means to own a business. Before taking that next job, you owe it to yourself to research all your options. How?

Use the “inside-out” approach to look behind the fa├žade of businesses and learn what it means to live and breathe the business everyday. By talking with current business owners you can discover what the return on your investment will be, what the actual initial investment will be, or how many hours a day it will take to run the business, etc. This can be a daunting task with the number of businesses available today.

The biggest obstacle to exploring business ownership is an individual’s ability to keep an open mind. Many individuals dismiss a business based on the name or perceived product or service. So, you don’t want to open a residential or commercial cleaning business. Why?

Obviously, you don’t want to clean someone else’s toilets, right? You need to stop viewing a business as “a job” and start thinking of it as a “business” where you are the OWNER. You shouldn’t be the individual cleaning the toilets; you should be creating jobs in the community for others to clean toilets.

If all you want to do is clean toilets, why would you buy the business, just go work for someone else. If you want to increase your net worth, hire people to clean toilets and offer the best toilet cleaning service in your area. Job versus business, which is right for you?

Michael Gerber says in his book The E Myth Revisited, to be successful one must work “on” their business not “in” their business. Talking with current business owners will give you the best idea of the ins and outs of owning a specific business.

Are there risks to owning a business? Yes, of course. Is there more security working for someone else? Not in today’s business environment.

Will you be a successful business owner? Increase your odds of success by restricting your emotions and using an “inside-out” approach to finding your next perfect business or career.

Is business ownership right for you? Have you done some real soul-searching lately?

If you have difficulty finding your best options, there are resources available to help you identify your personal goals and help point you in the right direction to obtain the success you want and deserve.