Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Making a living?

     Not selling anything--just free daily tips, information and advice for people in small business
     from a lifetime of personal experience starting-up, operating and growing businesses.

     Your small business should be doing more than just making a living for you and your family. If not, get busy.

     Many small businesses are marginal operations. If that's you, you need to do some soul-searching and rethink your business.

     Look at it as a fork in the road. Behind you is "making a living." Ahead, you can go in two directions. Continue as you are or kick the business up a notch.

     Example: Peter runs a florist shop. Many of his customers are locals who return to him when they want fresh flower arrangements. He gets additional orders through national floral organizations. It's not enough, however. He has kids who want to go to college one day. Peter decided to expand into rentals of flower arrangements--both fresh flowers and high quality silk flowers. He now regularly supplies arrangements to banks, clinics, organizations and corporate offices on a regular schedule--and in a wider area than he previously served. His bottom line has doubled.

     To make more than a living, look to expand your business into additional avenues. If one doesn't work, try another.

     Example: Della runs a consignment shop. She filled it with many things--from clothing to toys, from furniture to kitchen items, baskets and books. She thought that by having a little of everything, she would attract more customers. But business has not been very good. Della noticed a market for vintage and antique clothing. She began searching out items that would extend her stock (and reputation) in that direction. Soon, her consignment shop became a destination for teens, theater groups, high school play producers, and fiber artists looking for vintage and antique clothing and materials. People now come from far and near to shop there, and her website and Facebook page are both very active. Today, Della concentrates totally on this market. She has transitioned her "making a living" business into a much more successful operation. 

     Just "making a living" should not be your goal. Solve your particular problem by planning for a better future. You are always at a fork in your road. You can rock along, or you can head off in a better direction.

     Hey! You got your business off the ground. Now make it all it can be.

     I didn't get material for these write-ups by reading books or sitting through boring lectures. I've been there, done that--starting-up, operating and growing businesses of my own. I include dozens of examples in these write-ups. All are true--only the names are changed. Hundreds of examples are included in previous write-ups. I'm retired now, and I spend my time writing about what you can do to be more successful. 

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