“If only” is a statement I hear often from small-business owners.
Sometimes the wishes are big and grandiose. But most of the time, the wishes are just what one might expect such as more customers, a big order, more space or more money to work with or in the bank at the end of the month.
Yes, often the wishes are just dreaming, yet I have also seen a them come true.
It is great when that happens but, when asked, business owners often reflect that this great positive showed weaknesses in their planning and preparation.
Issues that these owners have faced include: keeping customers happy once they start coming; getting and training an adequate level of staff, needing more space and equipment, finding where to get more raw materials, and, of course, needing more money. Even when things are going good and money is starting to come in, the demand for access to even more cash grows as well.
Business owners comment that they were looking at much larger loans or at new challenges as they considered raising equity capital or working with an angel or venture capitalists.
So should you, as the owner, give up on your wishes? Not at all. For most people, the wishing stage just gets us started thinking about the future. And those thoughts form the start of what all business owners should do, planning.
Wishing is a good lead for the next step, the “what if” statements. How might your business be impacted if a wish does happen? Are you ready to respond?
Being ready to respond will make achieving your wish feel so much better. It also may help direct what you wish for. For example, many people enjoy the creative process. If demand should skyrocket, he or she becomes a manager and loses any hands-on role. It’s something to think about and plan for to ensure that your small business continues to fulfill your dreams and desires.
Wishing or dreaming or whatever you want to call it is a huge motivator. It keeps us motivated. And that will build your business.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” The key to this story is do not let your wishes be the end of your dreams.
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Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.