There are many reasons to start a small business. They may include being passionate about the work, a desire to work for yourself, or a need to give something back to society. Successful business owners also want to retire using the money they generate from their business. In my case, this became the focus of my investment strategy. It wasn’t always, but this last “great recession” changed my mind.
It’s amazing how cash can slip through the fingers of even the most frugal small business owner. It just happens without you realizing it. It’s not like anyone walks out the front door of their house and says, “I’m going to spend all the cash in my business, so I have to struggle to make payroll.” For some business owners, this is never the case, but for others it is an ongoing struggle.
The process starts by making sure you have enough money to make rent and cover most of your fixed expenses. Then your vendors want paid for the last order before they will deliver the next. You have unexpected repairs happen the same month as you initiated an advertising campaign. Then a snowstorm hits the area and traffic through your store comes to a grinding halt. It happens just that fast in some businesses.
It’s New Year’s Eve and I often take time to reflect on the previous year. I call it an After Action Review, from my time in the Army. It gives me a chance to look at what went right, what went wrong, and what I could do differently. The do differently part is always the most exciting, mainly because I get a “do over”.
It’s interesting to watch children at play and see something that obviously doesn’t go their way, or causes disruption in the cadence of their game. They defer to the most simple of concepts and call a “do over” to remedy the situation. The “do over” is probably the single most overlooked solution by adults running a small business. If things aren’t going your way, just call a “do over”.