If you are a small business owner in Westchester County New York you are surely looking for ways to increase your revenues and increase your bottom profits. As a business and leadership coach I work with small business owners and entrepreneurs in Westchester County New York. Recently I facilitated an owner’s forum at the offices of The Business Council of Westchester.
It takes commitment to become an entrepreneur. There are rewards in, growing, and succeeding in a business. Two reasons often cited are creative independence and financial independence. Although those goals carry many rewards getting to that point of financial independence is not easy. If you want to create a sustainable business you need to have leadership skills to empower others so that the business will run day to day when you are not there. If the business cannot run day to day you would be considered a freelancer rather than an entrepreneur. That brings me to the point of this story. If you want to be an entrepreneur you must first be a leader.
One of our Westchester businesses was to have participated in our owner’s forum but decided to drop out because the business was just awarded a very large contract. That is good news if handled properly but a sudden growth has also been known to cause a company to go out of business. This owner needed this forum more now. The fact that he could not continue indicates that he is not leading but is bogged down IN his business. As owner and entrepreneur you should be working ON your business. That means that you should oversee the operation, monitor the progress, and provide visible leadership without getting bogged down IN the operations.
You can do it. You can be an entrepreneur in control of your destiny but you need to think strategically as well as execute tactically.
Strategic thinking includes planning and deciding where you want to take your business now and in the future whether it is in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years or more. You must determine who your customers are now and whether they will be the same in the future. You must plan for changes in customer needs so that you will continue to meet them.
Financial planning is often overlooked with fatal results. You need financial controls with budgets for sales, inventory, gross profit, employee expenses, fixed expenses and net profit? Be prepared to alter other parts of the budget when results change.
You should have the right number of people doing the right things. You should have qualified people but you should also be flexible as business changes and you should consider cross training and employee development since you will have turnover.
Processes throughout your entire business operation should be formalized and easy to administer. Members of your team should be empowered to make commitments to most of your customers without your intervention.
Finally, you should have a dashboard of measurements so that you can watch and monitor your business.
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