Definition of a business owner Someone who works eighteen hours a day for himself or herself to avoid working eight hours a day for somebody else! Building a business can be tough; keeping it going and turning a profit doesnt always get any easier. It takes a lot of hard work and determination with no guarantees.
Nearly a million businesses start each year. According to the Small Business Administration stats, almost as many go belly up. Worst of all, many more limp along, never quite failing, but always struggling to stay ahead. They generate income, but not necessarily financial security for the owners and their families.
Successful business owners have a number of things in common in terms of how they think and manage their companies. Complete the following self-quiz to find out what youre doing right and where you need to focus your attention. Respond to the following statements, using a scale of zero to 10 zero for "never" and 10 for "always":
- I have written goals and a plan to achieve them. Ongoing success is the result of a
plan, not luck. If you dont know where you want to go and how you intend to get
there, you wont. This means broad vision on one hand attention to minute
detail on the other.
Prepare a business plan by mapping out your goals for the next 12 months. Then list no fewer than three specific activities that will help you achieve those goals.
- I work hard and pay my dues ungrudgingly. Some people say the secret to business success
is nothing more than showing up early every morning and staying late every evening.
Success doesnt necessarily go to the best and the brightest, but to the most
Put in just one extra hour each day. Over a 50-week year, this will add up to six additional 40-hour weeks.
- I am a business person. Most small-business owners are product or service specialists,
not professional business managers. But the more they learn about proven business concepts
and techniques, the more profitable and productive their companies will become.
Devote 30 minutes a day to reading a book or magazine on business; attend at least one seminar a year on innovations in your industry or business's management in general; consider college and university courses on business management.
- I work hard to control costs and keep overhead down. The bottom line is just that
the bottom line! Dont confuse bigness with financial soundness. Its the size
of your profit margin, not your payroll, that counts. A company that generates $2 million
of revenue, but loses $50,000 in the process, wont be in business long. But one that
produces $200,000 and nets $50,000 in profits is a win.
Keep good records and review them regularly. Some owners go over the numbers on a daily basis. This helps them spot potential trouble areas early. At a minimum, have a full-scale books meeting at least once a month.
- I have adequate cash flow. The primary complaint of small-business owners is cash flow
Build an operating fund that equals at least one months expenses.
- I believe in SOP. Successful companies have "standard operating procedures"
for virtually every aspect of the business. They learn the best way to do a process, then
standardize it into a working system. That way, time is not spent reinventing the wheel
Look for ways to simplify, standardize and systematize as many routine operations of your business as possible.
- I delegate as much responsibility as possible. While your company may never be able to
do without you, its long-term stability will be enhanced by broadening the base of
people who have the ability and authority to work without your direct supervision.
Delegate what you can, not just what you must. Give employees as much responsibility as they are willing and able to handle.
- I practice "controlled paranoia". Successful business owners constantly look for trouble and problems, so they can jump on them early, before they become serious.
review your books regularly. Ask customers what youre doing wrong or could do better. Seek out criticism, not praise.
Review your answers and tally your score. Your total reflects your companys probability of achieving long-term financial stability as it is currently operating. Boost your score by improving one item at a time, until youve boosted your score to a 70 percent level or better.
Rating: 4.0/5 (2 votes cast)
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|Business Owner's Self-Quiz|