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Business advice flows from experts with the force of Niagara Falls.

31 Jul

Rainbow and tourist boat at Niagara Falls

Tag Line: by; Milo Dakota

Business advice flows from experts with the force of Niagara Falls.  There’s no shortage of millionaires and billionaires who opine about the secrets of their stellar accomplishments.  But sometimes it’s nice to hear the success stories of the still-in-the-trenches small business owners who live the messages they preach.

Here are some words to the wise from business owners in three diverse Industries:  travel, insurance and fashion:

Look at the Calendar, Not the Clock

Sean Rollinson, marketing manager of Escapes.ca, says it’s crucial to not underestimate the time required to launch and manage a business:

“Being a business owner, especially at start-up, requires a lot of time, dedication and long hours,” Rollinson said in an interview.  “One of the main reasons why so many businesses fail within the first few years, next to simply a bad idea, is because new business owners don’t realize or realistically calculate how much time will be involved in running their business.”

Business owners hoping to achieve a balance between their personal and business lives should not look to achieve this on a daily or weekly basis.  They need to think of balance with a longer view in mind.

“Keep in mind that balance may be defined in years, not days,” Rollinson says.  “The first few years may take away a lot of one’s personal time but, once you get established and are able to hire some good employees, then you are able to take back some of your personal time.”

The need to adapt to changes in the business climate means, however, that even owners of established companies need to spend considerable time thinking about their business even if they are not physically present for long hours at the office.

“Even after you are established, while it may consume less of your personal time, it should still consume a lot of your thoughts.  Those thoughts show that you are still passionate about” what you do.

Balance Risky and Conservative Measures

When Ronny Jetmore launched his own insurance company 12 years ago, he had no money, no products to sell and limited experience in the insurance industry.  He was 25 and didn’t contemplate the risks.  If he didn’t succeed, he’d give up the business and get a job.  He succeeded.  He has learned from both his missteps and success and has advice for entrepreneurs who want to limit mistakes and garner easier success:

“First and foremost, find what you like to do that makes money and seems to have a good future, for 30 years out,” he says, and do market research to make certain you are filling a need.  He also recommends keeping a part-time job until the new business earns enough to pay your bills and advises that you keep expenses as low as possible.

“Put up a good front.  In other words, don’t buy a $60,000 car to impress clients if you can buy an $8,000 car that will do the job and look respectable.  Spend on things like a few nice shirts, a nice sign, envelopes, letterhead and get some decent furniture, not a $5,000 desk but a neat old wood one from a sale for $200 that you might have to paint.”

Like Rollinson, Jetmore says to work hard — at least 60 to 70 hours a week until your income stabilizes.

Love What You Do

Jared Young, owner and partner of AppetizingAprons.com Owner/Partner, AppetizingAprons.com, says that if you[re passionate about your business, the hours don’t seem like a hardship.  It also helps that he loves his business partner, his wife Nancy.

Most small business owners don’t go into business for themselves because they have no other option; they do it because they love the freedom and challenge that comes from relying on your own wits to survive. There is a joy in doing what you love that can’t be found elsewhere and I think as a small business owner it’s important to embrace that. Each individual has to examine what they want out of life and apply that to their work/life balance,”

Young adds that you should take breaks as often as you need so that you are doing things that bring you pleasure.  If the long hours needed to run a business are too much of a hardship, entrepreneruship may not be for you.  “You should never be working so much it makes you unhappy. If that’s the case, you should just go get a job; it’s much safer.”

Written by: Guest Blogger : Milo Dakota

 

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