Okay, I’m kidding. There’s a big difference between herding kittens and running a small company. For starters, kittens can be cajoled with treats and kitty toys, so it’s pretty easy to grab their attention and subsequently herd them with relative ease.
The concept of running a small business, on the other hand, is very likely a close cousin of the arcade game Whack-a-Mole. On a daily basis, from the moment a business opens until the time it closes, there will always be a situation or dilemma or challenge or opportunity that needs reconciling. And if the buck stops at your desk, you have to keep a thinking cap on at all times. Anticipating the needs of your employees, the needs of your clients, the needs of your company and your own needs can require lots of balancing and strategic planning, which requires lots of time. And time is your most precious commodity, so be mindful.
Here are some broad stroke thoughts, which only scratch the surface of how to run a small business, but there has to be a starting point. The following are applicable whether you’re just starting out in business or have been in business for years.
• Have a vision. Try to put the vision into words; words that someone else will easily understand. Your vision becomes your mission.
• Have enthusiasm for your vision/mission. If/when it wanes – and it probably will – take a step back (physically or metaphysically) and breathe.
• If/when you need help, ask for it – there’s no need to re-invent the wheel.
• Surround yourself with capable people who have great work ethics.
• Set deadlines as goals and be flexible so that if your deadline is missed, the world won’t implode. This doesn’t apply to your client’s deadlines, btw…
• Be patient. With yourself, with progress, with others.