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 mom has great people skills. She gets along with others and people like her. More importantly, she treats her customers like gold. She is polite, kind and sweet.
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.
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5 thoughts on “What My Mom Taught Me About Owning, Running and Growing a Business”
Maybe it is a female thing or maybe t is a mom thing, but my mom was so meticulous when it came to paperwork, files, and just staying on top of things. She definitely instilled in me the value of order and organization and how keeping records is essential in life in general, but certainly in business. When I was younger I hated it, but now I appreciate it so much and I am so glad it was something I learned to do when I was younger so I don’t have to struggle with it now.
I’m glad your mom taught you some great business skills.
Your Mom and Dad taught you some great things. You are blessed to have such wise parents.
I love the stay out of debt part. People have this assumption that debt actually is good. I have heard statements that debt helps the credit rating, and debt is the only way to buy large items. What ever happened to the old fashioned method of just saving?
In my opinion, debt can be terrible. If something extreme happens (hospital, death in family, etc…) debt can cause the problem to be substantially worse. I just had a good friend die at 42 and he left his wife with a lot of outstanding debt. Now, not only is she mourning, but she is worried.
I agree with Mom-stay out of debt!
Yes, staying out of debt is a good thing. Debt keeps so many people in bondage.
I loved reading this section in your blog. The lessons your parents taught are very similar to ones my siblings and I learned growing up.
Absolutely beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing.