It Doesn’t Have to Be One or The Other
Why is it that the owners of small businesses struggle to even make minimum wage? When you factor in the number of hours and amount of stress that most small business owners endure, often it’s less.
I had this conversation with a local contractor last week. The same conversation I’ve had with different contractors, including myself, repeatedly over the years.
Self-employed people are generally in business for one of two reasons. They either love what they do or they’re in it to make all the money they can. The ones who focus on quality and service usually don’t put enough effort into profit. On the other side, the ones who focus on profit, do so while neglecting the quality and service.
Let’s look at some of the reasons for this problem.
In a Score Contracts blog post, “8 Reasons Why Small Businesses Are Not Making Money” they list eight reasons. Most of these you have heard or experienced, but some are worth repeating.
#2 – They don’t know what they’re doing. They are technicians or trades people trying to run a business. They need to have a business plan in place and use it.
#5 – Poor thinking. Most are hard workers but have poor thinking habits. They spend more time planning their meals, vacations and daily chores than they do their life.
#6 – Lack of education. Not formal schooling, rather self-motivated expansion of knowledge like reading, studying, courses, on the job training.
#8 – Self-doubt or fear. Most people quit before they even get started. They look at the options and then talk themselves out of even giving it a real try.
Here are some additional reasons that small businesses find it difficult to make money, found in a blog post “17 Truths About Running Your Own Business”.
#1 – You can’t be everything to everyone. You need to decide what your priorities are, be selective and learn to say no to the things that aren’t.
#6 – Your business isn’t a piggy bank. You can’t just spend money on everything you want without a plan. You need to be sure to have money for taxes, equipment or building repairs, investments, etc.
#8 – You can’t do everything. You need help. You need a team and they need to be good. You need to know what that looks like and how to get them.
#10 – Your customers are your most important asset. Treat them as such.
#17 – You are your own most important client. You need to spend some time every day working on your business and not in your business. If you don’t take care of the business, it won’t last.
What are we going to do to make our business profitable while being true to our passion?
As is the case generally, everyone’s specific situation is different. The important thing is to listen, learn and apply information learned. If you learn new things and don’t use them, they’re worthless.
Application is the hard part.
Because we have struggled ourselves with finding a business system to fit our needs, we decided to develop a user-friendly business system that can be tailored to different business’s needs including training and implementation support.
It doesn’t have to be only passion or profit; IT CAN BE BOTH.
Here are some previous posts about some of our business system thoughts and struggles.
Building Your Business Is Critical to The Survival of The Business
Be Careful About Short Table Legs
What Does It Take to Be a Builder?
The First Next Thing to Building A Better Business
Share business struggles that you or someone you know has had in the comments below. This will be helpful to us as we design the system.