The Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland gave Alice some advice. Alice came upon a fork in the road. Alice asked the Cheshire cat which road she should take. The cat asked Alice where she was going and Alice replied she did not know. The cat then replied then what difference does it make which road you take. Like Alice if one does not know where one is going the decision at the moment is not consequential. The problem is where one could wind up and at what cost.
One tends to forget who runs the business. All too often the business begins to run the owner. The questions one must ask what are our goals and objectives. It is easy to simply state make a profit. Painting goals with a broad brush is like having no goals at all. What are sales goals by product? What are my monthly sales goals? What are my daily goals? It is not as simple as saying I want to increase sales by ten- percent. Evaluation, introspection and research are important parts of the planning process in a small business. One you establish goals the “how to get there” becomes even more important. Goals are not all financial but might include quality product, customer service, improved working conditions and etc… The end product should be expressed in a budget that is monthly for every line item of income and expense. The budget must anticipate capital outlays, debt payment and sources of funds needed, before one day one finds no money in the bank. Banks are not the same bank one knew years ago. Money is tight; it is easy for a banker to say no.
Goals in an owner’s life must be considered. Otherwise one lets their business control our lives. The two goals business and personal cannot be in conflict for a sustained period of time. Free time for oneself, time for family and faith are very important. It is easy to work eighty hours a week; your business will love it.
I once was told that working hard is all right; if you are truly making money. Often small business owners do not make the minimum wage. It is never good to be tired and broke.