As a small business owner, we must be accountable to and for our business. Not taking responsibility will hurt you in the long run. You are the face of your business.
This is not the typical article I write, however, it is important to talk about. The Philadelphia Women’s Network Connection, LLC (PWNC) is a small-business organization consisting of more than 1,200 women-owned businesses. We have women all across the spectrum, from startups to seasoned business owners. Our group is very diverse, and we supply as much information to them as we can pertaining to their needs.
Often as business owners are setting up their business, they overlook the help that is out here for them while on their entrepreneurial journey. I always say to my community, why go it alone when you have help? There are so many programs in place these days to help you with whatever it is that you need in your business including: great resources, free webinars, free business building classes, business financing for those that qualify, grants, mentorship programs, etc.
Are you taking advantage of these resources? If not, then why not? We all are responsible and accountable when it comes to our businesses. Right? I often say to my community, “I can supply the plate of food and utensils, but it is up to you to eat the meal.” I believe often we get complacent in our business and that is where the problem lies. We put expectations on everyone else to grow our business while we give less than 100%. I have seen and heard this too many times, “the program didn’t work” or “they couldn’t help me.” Was it the program that didn’t work or did you stop putting in the effort required for your business to be successful?
Let’s keep it real here, you can say what you want but the truth is the TRUTH! Do you love the idea of saying you have a business, or do you really have a business that you work on every day to make it the best it can be? Do you know your WHY for doing your business? What keeps you up at night about your business? What is the overall goal in 3 -5 years for your business? Who are you helping? Do you sell a product or service? Are you making money in your business? These are just a few key questions that you should know the answers to.
Realistically, how much time do you spend on your business during the week or even in a day? Are you getting the results you want with the time that you are putting in? If the answer is no, then guess what? You have to revise a new plan. The status quo for a business to be successful is they have to last at least five years before they start to see real results. How many of you are ready to make that sacrifice and commitment? Again, we go back to that question, what is your WHY?
Do you want to retire from your corporate job, travel more with your family, take care of an aging love one or create a better lifestyle for you and your family? Whatever your reason is, it should be a realistic one. Hoping, wishing, and praying without putting the work in never helped anyone in the business world. Success doesn’t come knocking on your door saying, “here I am.”
There are so many organizations these days that have programs in place that are set up to help you in your small business. Most of them are free especially in the Philadelphia-area such as, Power Up Your Business, Score, The Biz Center, Temple Small Business Development Center and so much more. Do your research there are tons of programs available. Excuses are easy. They give you a pass when you don’t want to work on your business. You know the saying, “You can’t have excuses and success at the same time.” Everyone must pay their dues. There are no shortcuts.
My analogy on things is this. People tend to show up in their business the same way they show up in their lives. If you are unorganized, complacent, not serious, can’t commit, not focused, not a team player, have problems with communication or delegation, etc. It shows up in all aspects of your lives. You can tell a lot about someone by watching how they run their business. Do they take the time necessary to make sure that their business is offering the best service, product, or presence? Is the website up to date, do you know the mission of the business? What are the benefits of being a member of the organization? How can they help you in your business and so on. You get the idea.
One of my pet peeves is when a business whether it’s big or small doesn’t take the time to check their work before it is sent out or published. I cannot tell you how many times I have been in articles whereas my name was spelled incorrectly, my social media handles were incorrect, my website was incorrect or misspelled or I was misquoted. These are very important! What may not seem like a big deal to you can make a world of difference to a small business owner who is out here trying to survive. Would you want to do business with them again?
So, moving forward I hope you will be mindful when dealing with other business owners. Make sure you have a website and your website is up to date. There are so many websites today to manage and help you build your own website for free or a nominal fee. If you can’t afford a professional website builder right now, I suggest looking into one of these. I have worked with some of these to name a few, Weebly, Wix, Google, WordPress and so much more. Your website is your company’s resume, it should tell everyone about you and your business. First impressions are best impressions, right? The world is waiting for you and what you offer with bated breath. They want to work with someone who they know takes pride and is accountable in their business. Your business, again, reflects you and to offer the BEST products or services, you must be the BEST. There are tons of businesses out there like yours, so what makes you different, what sets you apart from everyone else, how will your product or service be better than anyone else’s. What do you bring to the table to not only attract clients but keep them?
What I do in PWNC is set down quarterly or sometimes semi-annually to see what is working and what is not. Where can I add on or get rid of completely? Where should I focus my time more or maybe not at all? Your business should always be in a state of transformation, otherwise it gets old and stale. So, my friends I gave you a lot of information to digest today, I hope you walk away after reading this with a clear picture of yourself and your business. Be the best you can be in everything that you do!
Have a great day on purpose!