All small businesses run into decision points. These are the things that can keep you up at night! Twitter friend Shama Hyder Kabani, of After the Launch, (2013 update: Shama’s firm is now called Marketing Zen) has come to one of these, and “tweeted”:
After The Launch has hit a MAJOR decision point: To work IN the business or to work ON the business. Do we hire? Who do we hire?
Shama agreed to tackle some really tough questions about this critical moment for the Small Biz 100, to hopefully help other entrepreneurs face their own decision points.
What made you realize that you are at a decision point? One particular event, or more creeping realization?
I think it was when I realized we were getting more clients by the day. It gets to a point where you don’t know if you should focus on client work or new client acquisition. That’s how I realized we had to make some major decisions to make. We either grow or stagnate.
How do you balance working ON the business, while still managing to get the IN the business work done? Or, how do you carve out time for working ON the business?
In all honesty, this is what I am working on now. It’s hard. This is why I am considering hiring more help! I love working on the business and in the business, but I can’t do it all. That’s a huge realization.
Have you decided what position to hire? How did you decide?
I’d like to hire someone who is well versed in internet marketing and PR. Someone who can handle client accounts with ease. We have no problem getting new business, and being a marketing company, I am glad we can walk our talk. However, we need to continue to deliver great results to our clients-old and new. In that sense, I need someone who can pick up the ball and get in the game.
How are you fitting this with your long term goals?
I am still ironing this out….= )
What’s the best piece of advice you can give to other entrepreneurs running into a similar decision point?
Just this morning an expert entrepreneur and mentor gave me this piece of advice: A small business’ life blood is cash flow. That should always be your top priority. Cash flow is what allows you to grow. We hurt ourselves initially by really undercharging. We signed up clients for long term agreements at foolish prices. This is a silly mistake, but I hope others can learn from it. We are now correcting this. = )
This article is part of the Small Biz 100, a series of 100 practical hands-on posts for small business people and solo entrepreneurs, whether in a small town, the big city, or in between. If you have questions you’d like us to address in this series, leave a comment or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a community project!
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.