Life as a small business owner, can sometimes be seen as absolutely freeing and refreshing, when compared to the cookie cutter 9 to 5 office job or the overextended and overworked salaried supervisors found toiling away within larger firms.
But owning a business, running a business and effectively managing a business for future growth are all very different, time consuming things and for those that have successful businesses, all have a few things in common: a knowledgeable and focused leader with clear goals for the business' future and flexibility to learn from and adapt to their market.
Gone are the illusions that by having your own business, one can work whenever they want and vacation on a whim. Everyday is effectively another step in building a solid foundation of business policies and work flow procedures to follow. All of this is gained from the inevitable stumbling and "learning" experiences that occur with going from a one person entity - working out of a home office, making calls on the one phone line that you have to unplug and plug into your "all-in-one" printer just to make the totally inconvenient fax to the solitary business that "doesn't do email" - to the small business with a modest office staff and overhead that keeps you up at night worrying about whether that new software is needed or the networking one must do to expand their business.
...Meanwhile in the back of your mind is the every present "family comes first" or some other promise that you made to yourself before setting out to start the business.
The passion and drive that pushed you to "Go for it!" and open your own business, now fuels the need to gain a prestigious business reputation with industry peers and clients alike. Constant networking (adding all those parents you meet, during kids concerts/games or that one field trip you miraculously had time to chaperone, to your Linkedin connections seems to be the norm) and a meeting schedule busting at the seams are the hallmark of a hard working individual who sees the benefit of building and keeping relationships everywhere they go. In many aspects of business, as we have all heard time and time again, "it is not what you know, it is who you know", the key to this is to know what deficiency your business has and how those connections could possibly fill those gaps and bring on a new level of success.
Of course in order to see your business' shortcomings, you must first know what strengths the business already has and magnify those. This is why business advisors always suggest to think about how you want your business to be seen and how it will relate to the needs of its' clients, its' peers and its' community.
Daunting as it may seem, it is really simple... Do what you love and love what you do.
Building is our passion. High quality general contracting/project management is what we provide to our clients. Engaging with expertly skilled local peers in the industry helps support our local building industry as a whole and helps maintain and retain our community's economy.
What do we get in return? We get to create and build something that was once just an idea. That in itself is pretty awesome.
One day, in the future, we will be seen sitting on the beach with our toes in the sand, until then, we will continue on with this labor of love.