Growing your small business
Despite the time commitment and financial investment that come with the territory, more than 25 million people nationwide have opted to start a microbusiness – a company with five or fewer employees.
One in every 10 Americans works in a microbusiness, according to the Sam’s Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker, a quarterly survey of more than 850 microbusiness owners that provides insights into their economic and emotional concerns. The Sam’s Club survey indicates that women are opening 46 percent of today’s Main Street businesses – from restaurants to daycare centers – far greater than the number of women owned businesses that are over 20 years old.
“I’ve never worked harder in my life or felt more rewarded,” says Molly Beasley of Fairhope, Alabama, owner of Give a Dog a Bone, a Do-It-Yourself dog washing company. “This business is my passion. There’s a lot of satisfaction in knowing you are providing a valuable, affordable service in your community.”
After more than two years working 20 to 40 hours a week at a DIY dog wash in California, Beasley relocated to Alabama and found herself dreaming about opening her own dog wash. Eventually, she decided the timing was right to take the entrepreneurial leap and she hasn’t looked back. Since launching Give a Dog a Bone in 2012, Beasley caters to customers Monday through Sunday and spends her downtime thinking about ways to grow the bottom line.
Indeed, growth in microbusinesses has been driven largely by high personal sacrifice yet overall job satisfaction, according to the survey:
• Over 60 percent of microbusiness owners have financed their businesses from personal savings and nearly as many (55 percent) say having access to cash reserves is a major issue.
• One in three microbusiness owners (31 percent) depend more on second jobs for their personal income than on the business they launched.
• Yet 69 percent of microbusiness owners feel they have the ideal job.
Amidst these findings, one question bubbles to the surface – how can entrepreneurs maintain their passion while dealing with long hours and increasing budget demands?
Beasley provides some tips:
• Embrace Perspective: No matter how much you love your company, there will be days when balancing the books creates anxiety. Remind yourself what fueled you to launch your business.
• Find Balance: Sometimes it might seem impossible to relax, but devoting even 60 minutes weekly to non-business related activities will help you recharge.
• Become Resourceful: Find ways to save money, time and energy. Try multitasking, such as purchasing business supplies while waiting for a prescription to be filled, or patronizing retailers with special early shopping hours for business owners. Consider streamlining home expenses by eliminating cable or cooking at home.
• Make Changes: Stay motivated by experimenting with new methods and tools.