It’s SME on my own
Is there ever a better or worse time to be in a small business today? Whatever you believe, the fact remains that the success of owning and running a small business ultimately is down to you. Let’s look at the half empty glass for a moment:
My lovely business that I started on my own, with blood, sweat and tears is suffering. We’re in the worst economic downturn ever, there’s a pandemic, we’re on the brink of financial meltdown, the banks won’t lend me any money, the politicians don’t understand, new business in my marketplace is crap, I struggle to find new clients who are prepared to see value in what I do, my current clients are always late paying me, I cannot find any decent staff, the red tape and barriers seem to be getting bigger and bigger, everything costs more than ever, I am working longer hours, nobody really understand what I am going through, everyone seems to be doing better than me, nobody trusts anybody anymore……heeellllppp!!
On the other hand, let’s take a different slant. All my competitors are going bust, so there’s more customers than ever, borrowing money is at its lowest cost ever, I am on my own, I can make my own immediate decisions, there’s nobody telling me what to do, my customers are desperate for my help and I know I can help them, my cost base is low and my products and services are great value, I am a small and flexible business, that can make things happen fast, sterling is still a great currency, the internet and technology has made it so easy for me do business, I can connect with anybody in a matter of clicks, everybody wants to meet and talk, I have more information at my disposal than ever, my business can be global…..who wants a glass of champagne!
Whichever slant you decide to take (and remember it really is up to you about how you think!), some things remain constant and one in particular is that there is always help on hand in good times and bad: you just need to find it or ask for it. You would be amazed what people around you will do for you, you just have to ask. Most people are decent and are willing to help you if you have a problem. At the very least, I know that I can “phone a friend” and get their opinion and that costs nothing!
Running your own business can be a lonely place at times; it is important to remember that nobody can be successful on their own: sharing your challenges and sharing your successes is a key part of being in business. Whether it is family, friends, colleagues, peers, customer, suppliers, investors or even competitors, the common thread is “community”. Sharing is winning. Try looking around you for help, speak to your friends and ask their advice, search the internet for an answer, go to a networking event and work the room with no particular motive, but above all remember, that you are not alone and if all else fails, get a coach!