22 Dec 2014

Christmas Is Only Days Away - But What Then?

Isn't Christmas time a wonderful time of the year in that you catch up with friends and family that you may not see often - and you get to celebrate the year just gone - but don't you agree that it can also be a most stressful time when you're a small business owner?

At this time of the year I often think back to a discussion I had with my father (who was a small business owner all his working life) many years ago.

Dad always closed down his shop for two weeks every Christmas time and we would go away for a holiday, however, about 10 days into this holiday he would always start getting "fidgety" about getting back to his shop. 

I remember challenging him about this shortly after I started full time employment myself and it was not until I started my own small business almost 30 years later that I began to really appreciate his answer.

The discussion went something like this - 

Me - "Dad, why do you only last a little over a week and then all you are thinking about is getting back to your shop?"

Dad - "Mate, you're now working for a big organization and you get your fortnightly pay each second Thursday - every second Thursday - but it's a little different for me. How often do you think I get paid while we are away on holidays?"

Me - "I know that you don't get paid while you're away, but you have a successful business, so there is always enough money for us to go on holidays - I don't see what the problem is."

Dad - "That's all well and good for you to say that, but if I spend too long away from the shop, how many customers will go somewhere else to get their hair cut (he was a hairdresser) - and I lose a customer for good?"

I recall "brushing this conversation off", thinking Dad was just getting worried over nothing, but since starting my own business back in 2006 I don't think one Christmas has gone by when I have not thought about the same thing. 

Enjoy this time with your family - celebrate the "wins" and forget about the "losses" of 2014 (worrying about them is not going to change anything) - and get ready for a New Year full of more strategies and ideas to drive your business to its next level of success.

Merry Christmas.

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