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3 Things That Keep Business Owners Up at Night

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And what to do about it.

Cash Flow

The biggest concern of small business owners surveyed is their cash flow.

You need to be able to understand the cashflow process in your business. If you buy products, how much should you have on hand? Are you invoiced 30-60-90 for those products? How frequently do you need to make a sale and what price to turn a profit? Do you invoice your customers, and how long does it take them to pay? What are your monthly accounts payments? What do you need to have in the bank for taxes, 401K, and payroll?

There are all the details you need to know in and out and have mastered. The main reasons businesses fail is not the lack of cash flow, it’s the failure to generate enough of it, quick enough, and at a high enough margin to make a profit consistently.

Also, having a properly managed credit line to float your business before the checks come in and a great accountant is key! Don’t just hire any CPA or accountant. Find one that specializes in the field you’re in or it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars a year in extra taxes.

Work – life balance

30% of small business owners report working more than 50 hours per week. Nearly 20% report working 60 hours or more, and almost 80% report feeling like they work too much.

To regain balance you need to organize, automate, get a mentor, and plan work around your life.

There are 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, and 168 hours in a week. 60 of those minutes are spent sleeping and commuting. Leaving 108 hours left for work, family & personal time.

Use one calendar or planner to manage all of your time to maximize your day. Leave 15 minutes of unscheduled time each hour (30 minutes if you’re in healthcare or a high demand field) when possible to deal with unexpected interruptions or scheduled plans that run over.

Schedule a start work time and end work time, and STICK TO IT! When family or personal time begins for that day, work is over. You will find that you will prioritize your workday more efficiently and feel much more relaxed once you’re scheduling efficiently. If you find yourself having a hard time ending your workday, use your commute time to change your mindset from work to personal.

Get a mentor! Everyone needs a mentor or a coach. Even the world’s best athletes and CEO’s have them. When you look for that partner, make sure they have skills you don’t. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Mentors are sounding boards and disciplinarians that create necessary boundaries that we cannot set for ourselves.

Hiring Great Staff

Finding GREAT staff starts with hiring for personality, not necessarily for skills. Don’t get me wrong, if you need a doctor, there are some criteria that need to be met. But, for patient-facing staff members, personality is far more superior than skills. Skills can be taught, a good personality can not.

You should always be on the lookout for talent everywhere you go! The grocery store, a restaurant, etc. When you find a truly great person, hand them your business card and have a small elevator pitch about your business ready. When you hire for personality and train for skills, you end up with the best of both worlds! Great personality leads to great customer service, and training for the skills allows you to train an individual the exact way you want things done, with no bad habits!

However, in order to hire for personality and train the skills, you need to invest in training, training, training! Training is something you do not something you did.

Training needs to have/be:

  • Good content
  • Be repeatable
  • Interactivity
  • Accountability tracking.

Without being given the ability and opportunity to repeat and remember, employees will forget nearly all training in less than a week.

Training reinforcement is a series of small lessons or learning activities that support a core concept or skill. By having the ability to repeat the skills learned, employees will not only remember more, but they will also be more likely to apply it to their every day work.

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Written by Dr. Scott Colonna

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