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Small Business Shouldn’t Mean Small Thinking

Small Business Shouldn’t Mean Small Thinking

The stock market and the economy are two different things, not intimately related. While the market reaches record heights, businesses are closing on Main Street.

One thing we can learn is this: The less money you have, the more important are critical thinking skills, particularly decision making. Apple can make a $40 million error, and it’s barely a footnote on the financial reports. But for a small business, making a $40,000 error can be fatal.

Yet small business owners are among those most resistant to advice, and tend to make more emotional decisions than intellectual decisions. They listen to the wrong people (family, attorneys, accountants) instead of listening to business advisors and, most of all, their best customers. The fact that you’ve been doing something for 25 years doesn’t mean it’s going to be effective in the next 25 minutes.

Small businesses are the major creator of net, new jobs in North America (larger businesses tend to replace workers with automation and foreign operations). Here are five immutable directives for small business:

  1. You need outside advice and fresh air, or you’re merely breathing your own exhaust.
  2. Cash is king. Create reserves to see you through tough times for a year.
  3. Never use a family member in management or leadership merely because he or she is a family member.
  4. You must be virtual as well as physical, and it’s better to be mainly the former than the latter if you must make a choice.
  5. Your best customers’ loyalty is the key to evangelism, referrals, and future security—only your best customers/clients are the ones who are “always right.”
Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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