When running a business, everyday can seem to be a series of dealing with the unknowns. When starting a new business or buying a new business the unknowns can be plentiful. Even after running a business for 10- 20 years one may feel like they have “seen it all” yet can have a new problem or situation walk into your office or workday, any day.
I provide perspective to individuals and small businesses in the process of buying and selling businesses. Perspective can be a powerful resource. It stands to hold the perspective of an aspiring entrepreneur or potential business owner will differ greatly from the perspective of a small business owner that has been entrenched in a business for 10-20 years. Business owners faced with the same questions may provide completely different answer due to perspective.
New business owners, or aspiring business owners may appear more optimistic yet at no fault of their own – they don’t know, what they don’t know.
Long-term business owners may appear burned out or pessimistic, but again their answers are greatly influenced by what they do know and have experienced. Their answers are not based on theory or possibilities, but rather based on experienced actualities.
Below are just some hypothetical Q-and-A that is purely intended to demonstrate how perspective may result in 2 completely different answers to the same questions:
1. “What business are you In?”
Aspiring Entrepreneur: “I am passionate about building websites, and I am in the business of providing dynamic website products and services to small business owners.”
10-Year Small Business Owner: “I am in the website business but mostly I work on handling accounts payables, handling accounts receivables, dealing with vendors, my payroll, paying taxes, handling insurance, renewing licenses, employee issues, landlord issues, vehicle problems and I also bring my laptop home to draft proposals. But too often a small business owner gets so involved with running the business that one can almost forget what business they are in.”
2. “What is your largest Challenge in Business – Sales or Cost?”
Aspiring Entrepreneur: “I anticipate growing revenues will be our largest challenge and recognize the need to keep cost down.”
10-Year Small Business Owner: “I always thought that growing sales or reducing expenses were going to be my largest challenge yet find that trying to keep employees happy and content is a full-time job that appears endless. And at times employee issues greatly out-weigh sales and expense problems.”
3. “What Makes a Great Business Owner/Manager?”
Aspiring Entrepreneur: “Being the best at what I do, being the expert to my customers and always making the right decision.”
10-Year Small Business Owner: “I have found that hiring the right people can make me look like the best manager. Conversely hiring the wrong person can make me look like an idiot. Surrounding myself with great quality people is my best means to assure my success as a quality small business owner. ”
A 10-year business owner may tell you that even though you project sales to grow by x% and expense to grow at x%, invariably expenses always seem to grow a little more than anticipated. Or for a growing company, moving into a space that seems larger than needed invariably this space seems to fill up and makes one wonder where all that “extra space” has gone.
With all of us, our perspective is a moving target. It is changing every day as events of each days are changing. Our perspective is constantly being strongly influenced by our successes and our failures. If you buy a new business or start a new business and fail and quit, your perspective may be set in one way. If you start or buy a business and it fails and you then start and or buy 4 other businesses after that and achieve great success your perspective on the viability of achieving success in buying a business is obviously different.
I personally find that many of my more successful business relationships have been with those that can both share in my perspective and also provide a new, different fresh perspective. Getting the perspective from your strategic partners may not always be the difference between making a good decision or bad decision, but may greatly increase your odds of making good decisions. Perspective can be a very powerful resource.
Image by adevv.