Recently, I had someone ask me for business advice. They owned their own retail shop and were experiencing the hard part of business ownership - making money.
There were sales tax payment deadlines, inventory to pay for, employees to be paid and personal obligations that needed to be met. As we chatted, I realized this is a universal problem for all (most) small business owners......the highs of running your dream business is always juxtaposed with the lows of cash flow and bills owed. And sometimes, the balance is not on your side.
Atticus has been here for two years now and while we've certainly had months where we broke even, under (hello January and February), or over (hello Christmas!), we've been in business long enough to have weathered some of those storms and know how to plan for them.
Of course, you can't plan for a terrible economy or natural disasters, but we can always count on those handful of regular customers who come in and make purchases that always seem to come at the right time. You do not know how much that means to us and other small businesses.
What I told this young entrepreneur was simply this - "We are with you". We've been there. I offered up personal experiences and how we handled certain situations. You see, THIS is small business ownership. You step into a dream and deal with the realities later (that's why so many businesses come in and go out just as quickly.) But you're not alone. There's millions of us out there, hustling every day, dealing with the same things.....and we are in it together.
No one gets rich owning a small retail shop. Not at all. The luckiest of small business owners make enough to afford to pay themselves a small salary and maybe hire a handful of part-timers.
But you are getting to do something you love. And that's worth a lot.
So if this is you - a new small business owner in the throws of figuring it out or someone who wants to start their dream, I encourage you to sit down with someone who's been doing this for a while now and really dig in. Ask questions. Everyone's story will be different, but you'll see the same patterns.
We are with you, fellow business owner! And more than likely, you'll have a great community of like-minded folks to help you in the hard times. So keep hustling. Keep grinding away. Keep planning. Really do the hard, detailed work up front. The ups will come....but knowing and planning for the downs is imperative.