Minding own business leads to success

WORKING WOMAN

May 08, 1994|By Niki Scott | Niki Scott,Universal Press Syndicate

Next week is Small Business Week, and nowadays you have more reasons than ever to celebrate if you own one of the more than 20 million small businesses in this country.

While larger companies faltered during the recession, many of you flourished. Virtually all new jobs today are coming from new business start-ups, and while larger companies laid off 1.4 million workers from 1988 to 1990, companies with fewer than 20 employees hired more than 4 million new employees.

Some of the most successful working women I know run small businesses, and they share certain characteristics and skills that have helped make them successful.

If your small business is successful, chances are these things are true:

* You know how to build and maintain good employer-employee relations. You hold staff meetings even though they're time-consuming, and listen to gripes even when you're feeling hassled and harassed.

* You go the extra mile for an employee who's having trouble at home because you know you'll be paid back tenfold with gratitude and loyalty.

* You're aware that a smile, a word or a pat on the back can be more important than a cash bonus in terms of employee morale.

* When your shop's open for business, you're there, because you know that no one on your payroll will take care of your business as well as you.

* You're flexible, willing to modify your inventory or the services you offer, if the need arises.

* Finally, you know when to plow your hard-won profits back into your business, and when to spend them on yourself. Successful business owners know the most important asset they have is their own energy, and like all natural resources, this is not limitless.

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