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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, do some soul-searching and rethink your business. No one else can do it for you.
Look at it as if you're traveling down a road. Behind you is "making a living." Ahead, the road forks, and you can choose from the two directions. Either continue as you are or kick the business up a notch.
Example: Marisa is a massage therapist. She has successfully attracted clients and the business is rocking along. But it's not enough to send the kids to college. She reaches out to a chiropractor who is essentially in the same situation in his business. After several meetings and conversations, they form a partnership. By working together, they attract more clients to each of them. By combining practices and resources, they can be a bigger operation. Both benefit and both grow. They now have discussed plans to add more specialists and become a full-fledged wellness center. In the future, they might add nutritionists, hypnotherapists, holistic practitioners and others to round out the services offered at the developing wellness center.
To make more than a living, look to expand your small business into additional avenues. One way to do this is to partner with another small business.
Example: Della opened a consignment shop. She filled it with clothing, toys, furniture, kitchenware, baskets and books. She thought that having many things would attract many customers. Business was just rocking along when she noticed a vibrant market for vintage and antique clothing and jewelry. Della decided to change directions. She eliminated everything except the vintage and antique clothing and jewelry. She put the word out on social media to attract teens, theater groups, high school play producers, party goers, and fiber artists looking for materials. The word spread quickly via her website and Facebook. She has transformed a marginal business into one that addresses a growing market, both walk-ins and over the Internet.
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 the road. Choose a better direction and go for it.
These write-ups come from my personal experiences. I didn't read them in books or by sitting through boring lectures. I've been there, done that, both in businesses of my own and in coaching thousands of others in small business. Now, in retirement, I'm passing on what I've learned.