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Mind Your Own Business

Tips for successful business ownership


May is National Small Business Month. So, here’s to all of you who have one—or want to start one. Today, I’m offering resources for upgrading or starting your business. You’ll also get more tips to safeguard it.


Every business is based on a great idea, skill, or talent. The question is how well you organize and execute. With my company, BGL & Associates, LLC, I think about this and plan for it daily.



The Business Plan

Every solid business begins with a plan. It starts with five elements:

  • A crystal-clear description of your product—in common language—not business lingo. (Can you describe it to a kindergarten student?)

  • A clear description of how your clients (or customers) will benefit.

  • A succinct statement about how your service is unique.

  • Competitive analysis—who else offers something similar?

  • Your strategy—how will you reach clients (or customers)?

Sound do-able? Then proceed to the granddaddy of information and resources to run or grow your business: The Small Business Administration The SBA is a FREE resource for all things small business. You’ll get a wealth of info from their web site: https://www.sba.gov/ . Start with the site map, and be prepared to be dumbfounded with all the free resources: https://www.sba.gov/sitemap SBA offers suggestions for every phase of business ownership, from planning to running to legal, and more. There are videos, blogs, tips sheets and the list goes on. For starting a business, alone, you’ll find these topics: How to start a business │Write your business plan | Choose your business structure | Choose & register your business │ Choose your business location & equipment | Business licenses & permits │ Learn about business law │ Business financials Financing │ Taxes │ Hiring & retaining employees If you need business information, the SBA can help you.


Contingency Plans—In Depth

Whether up and running, or planning your business, don’t lose it to a disaster of any type. Contingency plans can’t prevent all disasters, but they can ensure you recover from one.


Here’s more thoughts on disaster recovery and prevention from Philip Griffith, Certified Photo Manager, at the National Photo Managers Conference. While his list is large, I’ll summarize. But if you want details, contact me. I’m happy to share them.


To prepare for the unforeseen, create plans for:

  • Natural disasters

  • Technology disasters (computers, hackers, etc.)

  • Equipment and power loss or damage

  • Security (cyber and actual property)

  • Accidents

  • Personal or personnel emergencies

Make a plan to recover from loss of:

  • Power and/or equipment

  • Software/hardware

  • Technology

  • Independent contractors

  • Employees or subcontractors

  • A major client (or customer)

  • Data

Create lists and safeguards for:

  • Inventory

  • Equipment

  • Vendors

  • Clients (or customers)

  • Passwords and codes


Plan and document vital functions:

  • Data backup

  • Data storage (Can you say FOREVER Storage®?)

  • Critical business function software


Do you know where to go for help?

Should you have a loss or tech glitch, have you documented who can help you survive until it’s replaced or repaired?


Coaching

Don’t overlook the value of a coach who knows all this and much more. Information is one thing. Executing is quite another. A coach that guides you and holds you accountable can mean the difference between success and failure.


If you’d like assurance that you are doing the right things in the right way at the right time, a coach is invaluable. I’ve been coaching new and longtime business owners for decades. If you’d like to know more, let’s have a free initial consultation.


Happy Small Business Month, all. Make May work for YOU.

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