Thursday, March 04, 2010

A Small Firm's Secret Weapon

We recently made the decision to revamp the look of our magazine. The updated look and content was much needed and has certainly given a boost to our company and bottom line. A friend asked me last month is the design process took 10-12 months. I laughed.
I think it took about a month from start to finish. One month to transform our product, which makes up 70% of our yearly revenues.
Could that have happened at a large, corporate magazine? No way. It would have taken them a month to plan the first meeting. While we usually can't match our larger competitors with pricey technology and the latest gizmos, we can beat them with our flexibility. And so can every other small firm in business today.
Small firms have always been compared to gazelles, the fastest animal on the planet. Gazelles move at a lightning pace and have the agility to switch directions the instant they spot a new opportunity.
As a small business, this agility is our secret weapon. Look for opportunities and trends where you can use that agility to grow your business and keep competitors at a distance.
--Ron Ameln, SBM

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Perseverance: The Key To Entrepreneurial Success

Do you want to succeed as a business owner? Can you persevere in difficult times?
Hopefully you answered yes because that's what it takes.
Take, for example, Jennifer Raeker. When her father Bob Raeker, also the founder of Bob Raeker Plumbing, died unexpectedly on a Saturday night, Jennifer had to step up to the plate. Despite being just 27, she was now in charge. "I had no idea how to run the business," says Raeker. "I never got into the finances. I had no idea what was in our savings, if $5,000 or $50,000 was a lot to have, or how to pay the bills."
To make matters worse, when suppliers found out what happened, they assumed the business would close and demanded payment in full, putting even more of a burden on the company.
Unlike many things in life, you can't teach perseverance. It's an innate, instinctive trait that is usually passed along from generations. If you have the ability to persevere (find silver linings when others only see gloom and doom), you'll succeed in any business and industry.
Raeker certainly has the ability to overcome challenges. She's built the 54-year-old company into a multimillion dollar firm.
--Ron Ameln, SBM