My parents are entrepreneurs. My dad is the visionary, the people person and the sales machine, but my mother is the glue that keeps everything together. She does all the “behind the scenes” stuff in my parents antique auction and storage unit business, which allows my dad to focus on the things he is good at.
What I want to do today is share what my mother taught me about owning, running and growing a business. I’ve learned a lot from her through the years, mostly by watching what she did. Here are seven things I learned from her about owning a business, listed in no particular order.
# 1 The Details and Paperwork are Very Important
All businesses are heavily regulated by the government and require lots of reports and paperwork. My mom is amazing with the business records and paperwork. She is meticulous, organized, and always one step ahead of everyone else when it comes to paperwork. You could ask her for a business document from 10 years ago and she could find it in just a few minutes.
My Recommendation: Don’t neglect the paperwork part of your business. If you aren’t good at doing this yourself, hire someone to help you (or ask your spouse to help).
# 2 You Need Multiple Streams of Income
My mom is a big fan of having multiple streams of income in your business. She taught me that most businesses need SEVERAL diversified income streams to protect their profits and create long-term stability. She is always analyzing and looking for ways to create multiple streams of income in their business.
My Recommendation: Brainstorm three to five different ways you could diversify the income in your business. Do some research on each income stream and implement one of them within the next thirty days. Every few months try to add a new income stream.
# 3 It Helps to Be Organized
My mom is EXTREMELY organized. She has a place for everything and can find whatever she is looking for in just a few moments. Her files are neat and well organized. Her receipts and invoices are kept in a specific place.
My Recommendation: Get organized or find someone who is organized to help you get organized.
# 4 It Pays to Have a Good CPA
My mom is very good with Quickbooks and taxes, but she realizes that it’s worth having a good CPA at tax time. She keeps the business finances in good order throughout the year, but she hires a CPA to do their business and personal taxes.
My Recommendation: Hire good advisers. It is money well spent.
# 5 You Can Always Improve
My mom is always looking for ways to improve their business. No person is perfect. No business is perfect. But everyone can improve. We can all make incremental progress and improve. There is always a better way to do something.
My Recommendation: Look at each area of your business and life and identify one thing you could improve upon in each area. Sit down and do this exercise at least once each month.
# 6 Treat Your Customers Like Gold
My Recommendation: Treat your customers well and they will stay with you for the long-term. They’ll also send you referrals.
# 7 Stay Out of Debt
One of the most important lessons I learned from my mom is to stay out of debt whenever possible. Keep your personal and business debt to a minimum. My mom hates debt, and now that I am older and wiser I hate debt too. When you have debt it controls you. Avoid debt like the plague.
My Recommendation: Determine your current net-worth and come up with a game-plan to reduce and eliminate your business and personal debt.
My mother taught me a lot about life and entrepreneurship. She is loving, wonderful, kind and very smart. I consider myself very blessed to have such a great mom.
What do you think? What did you learn about business from your mom? Leave a comment and let us know.