Did you know small business owners account for over sixty percent of the jobs in the country? Small businesses are manufacturing products and offering services while often managing payroll, human resources, marketing, IT, social media, supply chain – you get the idea. All this without the benefit of super powers or large staffs. This week our nation honors them with National Small Business Week, a week dedicated to the millions of small business heroes in this country that sacrifice every day to keep America running.
R+L Carriers started out as a small business ourselves in 1965 and we’ve been supporting small businesses ever since. We’ve visited many of them with our NASCAR race car and hauler, and along the way we’ve learned a few things about the countless hours and super powers needed to be successful.
Establish Your Small Business Identity
Successful businesses do not happen overnight. A business plan is the foundation for growth and success. The plan will be a guiding force when things get difficult and a decision making tool for setting direction. A solid business plan will help you through those first few years where money is tight and every week is a struggle. Invest the time in a clear and well thought out business plan. Think of it as your super power suit – it will define who you are in those first few years.
Seeing into…THE FUTURE!
Crystal ball manufacturers can skip this part.
Have you done a recent SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis? Now that you’ve taken off, make sure that you are looking ahead to assess the opportunities and threats that are coming at your business. Keeping an eye out by reading through blogs, industry publications and listening through social media to find the trends and stay on top of them. Staying a little ahead of the game will allow your business to fly long after others have returned to earth.
Breaking the Sound Barrier
Your industry is moving fast and there’s a lot of work to do during the day. The ability to work on multiple projects while still looking ahead is a super power all business owners need. That means working quickly, practicing effective time management and relying on your team members to do their jobs well.
Feats of Enormous Strength
Part of your SWOT analysis is an assessment of your strengths. What talents and skills does your team have? In what are you stronger than your competitors? How can you use your strengths to differentiate? Find your best strengths and capitalize on them in your marketing, your social media voice, your business model. You are helping to lift our economy through offering employment and economic development of your community. You know how strong you are and you’ve survived some very tough times. Focusing on your strengths will help you save the day.
A League of Amazing Companions
Every great hero has a reliable sidekick. Yours is your team, a group of people invested in your shared mission and willing to work to make it a reality. Remember to hire people that work well with your personality and are talented in areas you are not. Build a team of employees that are like a strong family. You’ll be spending a lot of time with them and trusting them with the success of your business.
R+L Carriers is proud to support small businesses with supply chain, shipping, logistics, truckload freight services, trade show solutions and more since 1965. Our mission is to help them succeed by getting their materials to their customers on time, every time. During National Small Business week, and every week, we encourage you to support the local auto supply shops, grocery stores, clothing stores, manufacturers and any other locally owned stores in your neighborhood. We look forward to supporting them for the next fifty years!
What other super powers does it take to run a small business? Leave your comments and responses in the section below.