The Ups and Down of Being in Business

I did a presentation to PARO on this the other day  Any number of things can cause you to need to change and/or adapt your business. As an entrepreneur you can be creative, innovative and you can adapt. If you do not have UPS and DOWNS, that is not a good thing for your business

When you need to add expertise and others to your business

Be sure that you are willing and able to adapt your business and get or bring in the expertise to move your business forward.  There may come a time when what you know is not enough.  You need to be willing to recognize and add to your team those who have that knowledge and expertise.  As a business owner you cannot be the doer of all things, all the time, because you will just end up stressed, overworked and your business with suffer.

Significant Life Changes that can impact your business

  • The birth of a child
  • An injury or Illness
  • An unexpected job loss
  • Retirement
  • Divorce

Have you considered these things in your business plan?  (If not, you may need to take one, or several, of my courses).

  • Do you have the correct business insurance to get you through?
  • Have you considered the implications to your business under various scenarios because there can be significant issues you need to be aware of and prepared for.

Juggling a full time job and a small side business

Many business owners have a full-time job and have a small business on the side, often because the income from their small business would not support them in their day to day needs.  A life changing event, like the birth of a child or loss of a job can boost you into the creation of a new business or move your side business to your full-time job.  In job loss, there is often a severance package that can help get your business off the ground or expand your existing business.  Childcare costs can far outweigh the ability to go back to work; so many have started their own business to stay home, enjoy their child and make some income.  The perfect time to use your passion and start a venture.

Planning for the various scenarios ahead of time will make your life a whole lot less stressful.

Preparing ahead for Illness/Injury

Covid-19 seems to have brought to light the impacts of illness on a small business.  A pandemic is one of those events hard to anticipate.  However, you could have been somewhat prepared to lessen the impact.  The fact is illness or injury can and will impact your business. Are you the primary person in your business (which many small business owners are), if you get sick do you have to close for the day?  Do you have a back-up who can fill in for you?  If you had a heart attack or stroke and were unable to run your business for 8-12 weeks, would your business have to close? Would a broken arm or leg or loss of vision impact your business? Covid-19 caused some forced shutdowns, but there are many other things that can cause a business to have to close.  Be prepared, have plans in place!  If you are a women in business, if your husband gets sick or injured or your children get sick or injured, do you have a plan to keep your small business running and ensure they get the care you want them to have – is that caregiver going to be you?

The roles your spouse plays in your business

My husband also has a small business; however, I was the payroll person, bookkeeper, inventory tracker, income tax preparer, HST remitter etc.  He did not know how to do any of those tasks. I took care of all the behind the scenes tasks and he did his day to day job at the store. The fact that he had relied on just me, and had not learned how to do those tasks, could have had a major impact on his business had I not survived my stroke.  The lesson that came out of it was that he had to learn to do all those things, so he could do them himself, or show someone he hired what needed to be done.

Many small business owners rely on their spouse to assist them in their business. So, it is a good idea to be sure you know how to do all the tasks yourself should something unexpected arise.  Do you have a backup for all the things you do in your business?

Retirement is your opportunity to expand your home based or small business

Retirement is often the time to take advantage of the guaranteed income (from say a pension) that allows you the time to now focus on your business.

Retirement doesn’t mean sitting on the couch watching TV, it is the time to focus on your passions – some people use this time to volunteer, some people use it as an opportunity to start a business to keep them occupied and bring in a little extra money.

Many a millionaire was made after retirement when they could focus on their passion and not on putting food on the table.

Expanding and Changing never ends

As people become aware of your business, your skillset, and your passion, be prepared to shift and alter your product and service to meet those needs.

Always ask your customers/clients how you can add to or improve your service