What do you see when you survey the small and independent business landscape?
You won't be surprised to know that I see a world of opportunity. You won't be surprised to know that I see a world or challenges. Let me explain.
Let's start with the opportunities.
- You can do it. The world is your oyster. If you have a good idea, a positive attitude, the willingness to take action, and access to a computer, you have a great chance at business success.
- Technology. You barely need any money to market a solid business these days.
- Office space. Your office is wherever you want it to be, including your daughter's dance studio waiting room, the service line at the DMV, your kitchen table, or your boyfriend's garage. You can choose, and you can make it different each day.
- Stress. Stress can be a good thing. It means you are challenged and that you have something to fight for.
- Information. It's everywhere. There is no product you cannot learn how to make, no service you cannot learn how to provide. There is no shortage of suppliers of everything from affordable desks and chairs to the ingredients you need to make your products. Information can be your best friend.
- Time. Small business ownership means means you have more control over your priorities, and therefore, more control over time.
- Unlimited possibilities. The sky is the limit. Make tons of money. Make a little money. Make an in between amount of money. The choice is yours.
Now, the challenges.
- Everyone else can do it too. Anyone with $20 on a credit card can set up a halfway decent looking website, and start competing with you.
- Technology. It's tough to embrace technology and use it properly. Today, good products is not enough. You have to master technology. If you don't, your business won't last.
- Office space. If you're not disciplined, all this office freedom can doom you and your business. Bouncing around from place to place can be a distraction.
- Stress. Stress can be a bad thing. When it's not managed properly, along with your business, it can overtake your life. You must welcome the right amount of stress, and keep the rest at bay.
- Information. It's everywhere. If you're not careful and disciplined, you will be crippled by too much information and not enough action. Information can be your worse enemy.
- Time. Small business ownership means means you have more control over your priorities, and therefore, more control over time. Mastering your priorities, and therefore your time is critical, and one of the biggest challenges.
- Unlimited possibilities. Lots of shiny objects means lots of potential rabbit holes. If you don't stay out of them, you're toast.
Question: What do you see?