Labor Day Holiday a Good Time to Reassess Your Business
September 04, 2011
Business Tips Article
ASU-SBDC Assistant Director
SAN ANGELO, Texas — Today, we celebrate Labor Day.
According to the Department of Labor, the first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. It was a day of celebration for the hard work and dedication of the workers in this country. With the holiday, now may be a good time to reflect on the hard work and dedication we have to our jobs and our businesses.
As a small business owner, taking the time to reevaluate your business may seem like a nice thing to do but there is not always time in the day. However, with the state of the economy and the challenges facing many businesses now is the time to ask yourself these critical questions about your business.
How committed am I to my business? This is one of those questions many people may be afraid to answer. Having a business requires a huge mental and emotional investment. The reason many businesses close in the first few years is that the business owner loses the drive for keeping the business going. I have had the opportunity to meet very successful long term business owners. The one trait that they all possess is the ability to stay engaged in their business and connected to their customers and employees.
How efficient is my business? One of the biggest challenges for a small business owner is staying efficient. An efficient business means there are processes in place for routine transactions, and the right people are in the right job. Many times a business grows before the operational structure is in place. With efficient operations, the more the business can accomplish. The best way to address inefficiencies is to take one part of a business at a time and ask the question, “could this job be done better or faster?”
What should I be doing differently? Again, this may be a question that many business owners do not want to answer. Change is hard for all of us. It is possible the business needs to be reinvented. With technology changing the way we all do business, it is important for a small business to find ways of adapting to new ways to advertise, to use social media, and to use electronic transactions. Looking for ways to improve your business through change may be the answer that allows your business to thrive.
Who can help me with my business? It is difficult for many of us to ask for help. And, it is one of the hardest things to do if you are a small business owner. Talk with your lender and/or CPA to learn more about the financial part of your business. Talk with others in the industry about trends and opportunities within your industry. Observe your competitors or better yet, talk with them. They can offer valuable information for you. Also, visit the Small Business Development Center. Our services are free and confidential.
Labor Day can be a day to reflect on the determination of those before us who made this country strong. As a small business owner, it is important to also remember your own strength and determination as you endure these challenging times.
This article was written by Cindy Hartin, CEBS Fellow, Assistant Director and Certified Business Adviser II, of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. Contact her at Cynthia.firstname.lastname@example.org or 325-942-2098.