Being a business owner has its challenges, and there have been plenty of ups and downs to contend with in 2019. However, Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate your accomplishments and savor what you enjoy most about being in charge of your business destiny. Here are seven things every business owner can be thankful for:
1 – Your Network
Whether it’s through in-person connections or your social network, it’s important not to underestimate the value of building meaningful relationships with people you can trust to have your best interests at heart. Running a business can be a frustrating and lonely endeavor. Having a reliable network of professional colleagues and contacts not only provides access to expertise, resources, and opportunities – it offers you the support, motivation, and mentorship to keep your business moving forward.
Social media sites and other online platforms allow business owners to expand their networks and connect with people around the world without ever leaving the office. However, keep in mind that there is no substitute for getting out there and meeting people face-to-face. You never know who might know just the right supplier or job candidate to help you achieve your business goals.
2 – Your Competitors
Although they often keep us up at night, the team at Summit Financial is grateful for the ways our competitors push us to be the best we can be. From creating better products or services and marketing them effectively to developing more efficient ways of doing business, the competition continually challenges business owners to revisit, refresh, and reinvent. They provide data and insight that will help keep you up to date, and you can often learn as much from their mistakes as you can from their successes. Over time, they may even become colleagues, coworkers, and friends.
3 – Your Tech
Even the smallest businesses have a wealth of options when it comes to technology, from processes that can be completely automated to cloud computing to apps that have revolutionized accounting, project management, marketing, and sales. Accessible and affordable tech tools empower business owners to improve efficiency, engage with remote workers across the globe, and do more with less. While there may be moments when you wish you were less connected, we’re guessing that it’s the rare entrepreneur who isn’t grateful for their smartphone.
4 – Your Team
Without the commitment and expertise of a loyal team, business success would not be possible. When you surround yourself with employees who care as much about your business as you do, you can rely on them to work tirelessly to help you achieve your goals – in good times and bad.
Hiring the right people is critical. Many small businesses operate with just a handful of people, so every employee has a big impact. Even solopreneurs typically have a support system of friends, family, or colleagues. No matter what kind of business you own, it is important to recognize that you cannot run it alone and thank those who are there for you along the way.
5 – Your Clients/Customers
If you run a small to mid-size business, chances are your customers are more than just names in a database. When you and your team are capitalizing on the opportunity to build relationships with your audience, you can give thanks for the inspiration and challenges they provide as a result of your interactions.
If the scale of your company prevents you from connecting with customers on a regular basis, take advantage of technology, such as customer relationship management software, to learn more about who they are and what matters to them. Be sure to check in with your sales, customer service, or relationship management staff to gauge how customers feel about using your products or services. These simple steps can go a long way towards keeping customers happy so they will keep coming back.
6 – Your Financing Options
Cash flow can be an issue for even the most seasoned entrepreneurs. Whether they need to meet payroll or purchase inventory, business owners often rely on working capital financing to help bridge the gap when there is a shortfall. Getting a loan from a traditional bank can be difficult, but thankfully there are a variety of financing alternatives that make it easier for businesses of all sizes to secure funding.
Summit Financial Resources offers working capital loans that involve using your accounts receivable and other assets as collateral. We can mix and match from a variety of product options to suit your needs, including invoice factoring, asset-based lending, and inventory lending. You can use working capital loans for any business expense, whether its meeting short-term obligations and investing in long-term growth.
7 – Your Mistakes
Failure is inherent in managing a business, but tough times can prove to be the best teachers. Rather than dwelling on what you did not accomplish this year, look at what went wrong and what went right and use the information to help you and your team shift gears and focus on ways to run your business more profitably. With a new year on the horizon, now is the time to let go of negative feelings about past performance, be thankful for lessons learned, and prepare to make a fresh start.