When I started working at Revrac Industries, Inc. (dba Stony Point Pharmacy) in 1998, I didn’t have the slightest inclination it would lead me to where I am today. It was intended to be a temporary position. I was to work for a few months as a Customer Service Associate while I went to college, but instead, the position turned into an almost twenty-year endeavor. With numerous promotions and generous wage increases, the CSA position eventually turned into the Director of Quality Management & Strategic Planning position it is today. This business experience has yielded a hands-on, real-world education in the small business world, and has provided me with invaluable knowledge.
Undoubtedly, there are a number of business entrepreneurs who do not have the business background or experience to know exactly what to do when starting (or even continuing) to operate in the small business realm.
AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH NOT HAVING THIS UNDERSTANDING!
In fact, the small business endeavor is still a speculative venture because of its high rate of failure (According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months). The pursuit of financial freedom is an unsettling prospect because it involves major risk. You become the master of your success or failure, which ultimately becomes your driving force. At the end of the day, there is no one handing you a paycheck regardless of business outcomes. Instead, it is not only about your performance, but about your ability to connect with your customers.
Most new small business owners choose to go into a specific business industry BECAUSE they are an expert in their field – whether it’s sales, retail, service, restaurant, construction, etc. They are the leaders in their respective fields.
But frequently, these business owners neglect to realize the massive undertaking of business management. It is more than knowledge of the industry or craft. It is about managing people, finances, and inventory. It is about customer service and understanding the voice of the customer. It is about providing a service where a service is needed. IT IS ABOUT BALANCING WORK-LIFE WITH FAMILY-LIFE. This is a sampling of aspects some small business owners do not account for when endeavoring into owning a business. It becomes learned as it’s presented to them, and many times, mistakes in these areas can be detrimental, or even fatal, to their business or personal life.
THIS IS A “HARD WORK” APPROACH
I would love to teach business practices which would turn your company into a multi-billion dollar operation overnight. The fact-of-the-matter is, these operations make up such a small percentage, it becomes less realistic to strive to be as financially secure as them, and more realistic to generate a steady income for you and your family.
As you read, I will show you how the value of hard-work, an enthusiastic personality toward gaining customer trust, and a complete understanding of operational management can transform your business into one which generates steady, sustainable growth for years to come while maintaining a healthy balance in your personal life.
WHY FOLLOW US?
The answer is simple. I’ve made a career working in small business by making it a priority to understand all facets of business operations and functions. Initially, what made me a difficult employee to replace was not my knowledge. It was my work ethic.
As I gained knowledge, though, I became difficult to replace because I was the employee who embarked on the challenge of solving problems. I needed to know the answers, and if I didn’t know the answers, I searched for a solution. I earned my employer’s trust through both resolve and reliability.
In the process, I received a real-life education in many different facets of business: from Customer Service to SEO Marketing, Human Resources to Accounting, Merchandising to Corporate Social Responsibility. I was a sponge. It became imperative for me to know, and even more important, it became imperative for me to continually improve.
After 20 years of working in small business, this approach has not changed, and has consistently motivated me to continue learning. Learning has given me purpose, and passing on this knowledge to you will provide me with a new purpose. Further, learning in an apprentice-like manner gave me the ability to learn more completely, by applying learned business skills to real-life situations.
HAVING A SUPPORTIVE EMPLOYER
Because of a supportive employer, I was able to pursue and achieve a Bachelor of Arts in English (Mercy College, 2012) and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Fairleigh Dickinson University, 2016) while continuing to work full-time. The freedom and support to pursue other endeavors made it easy for me to remain a loyal employee. By having the ability to pursue these degrees, I remained focused on all business aspects because I felt a need to give back to my employer for his willingness and encouragement to see me succeed in my personal life. There was a sense of camaraderie which was developed among us, and I approached operating his business like it was my own.
FOLLOW US & RECEIVE NEW POSTS STRAIGHT TO YOUR E-MAIL INBOX!
As you continue to read future posts, I will ask from you two things.
FIRST: Be honest with yourself. You must be willing to test new techniques and methods to learn how to relate to your employees and/or your customers, take new financial approaches, and so on, to improve as a business owner and as an individual.
SECOND: Remain open-minded. There is a reason you are reading this blog. Perhaps you are seeking new knowledge. Perhaps you are searching for support. Either way, you’ll be a better business owner by keeping an open-mind.
I wish you the best of luck with your business and am confident this blog will not only help you as you begin your business, but continue to help you for years to come.
Here’s to many years of success!