Four Secret Weapons That Every Small Business Owner Needs
Owning, running or even just working in a Small Business is hard work.
It can be lonely, isolating, administratively frustrating, disappointing and you can feel like you are doing a whole lot of work and having to spend time away from the other important things in your life for very little reward. But, it can also be pretty great.
Yes, you will never work as hard as you will for yourself, but that hard work can build something pretty special, something that is not only profitable but liberating for your spirit and something that can become a legacy for you and your family for years to come.
The difference between feeling disappointment and frustration or satisfaction and happiness might just come down to how many of these four secret weapons that every Small Business owner needs today you employ.
A thick skin.
When someone isn’t 100% happy with your business, whether it’s the customer service you provided or your product that they purchased, it’s very hard not to take it personally, especially when your name hangs above the door.
We usually feel like our business is an extension of ourselves, so when people aren’t satisfied with it, it can feel like people aren’t satisfied with or by us.
We need a thick skin. We need to understand that you are never going to be able to make everyone deliriously happy and that sometimes you will make mistakes; which make the next two secret weapons even more important.
There was a time when everyone who owned a Small Business pretty much had the same kind of business, doing business the same kind of way and were pretty much the same kind of people.
But now, everything has changed. The vast majority of Small Businesses that will be launched in 2018 will be completely remote, geographically non-specific, online businesses. And that difference from old-school business requires a lot of flexibility from the new Small Business owners. We have to move, pivot, adapt, and be able to learn new skills on the run.
The modern Small Business owner needs to be part marketing expert, part customer experience specialist, part coder, part journalist, part Public Relations expert and part Human Resources genius given the variety of employment variables and variety of employees you might need to negotiate in the first few years.
But being able to accept that flexibility, as well as being able to change what you do, who you do it for, where you do it, and even how you do it, sometimes month to month can actually be pretty fun also.
Not just a secret weapon for business, obviously, but resilience can definitely help the modern Small Business owner to keep moving forward, even in the face of adversity and both personal and professional mistakes.
The worst thing about resilience is that the only way to it is through failure. But resilience is enviable and strengthening and one of the most engaging traits a human can have and build, so I think it’s definitely worth looking for.
I love the Janet Fitch quote, “The phoenix must burn to emerge”, and I think this sums up Small Business people pretty well. Some of us have to do more burning than others, but the emerging is the most important part.
I talk a lot about kindness, and I think about employing kindness a lot in my businesses because, well mainly because, most people don’t. I find that it is a really great point of difference between me and the other people offering the same products and services as me.
Kindness creates loyalty, too. Even when someone is angry or bitter or feels let down by businesses like yours, it’s still very difficult for them to not be engaged by your kindness.
Kindness creates a lasting and binding connection to people too. And if those people are your customers, advocates and influencers, that connection can translate directly to profitability for your business.
And finally, kindness just feels … Good. And I think we can all do with more things in our lives that just make us feel good. Remember, you are never going to lose business by being kind, you will only ever gain it. So, there is very little risk in using kindness, but lots of potential rewards.
Which secret weapons have I missed that you employ every day in your own business?
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