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Posted on 04.08.2010

Small Business Owners Need Big Supporters


Yesterday I got a good reminder about roles and responsibilities of a small business owner. It was:  Practice What You Preach. I am frequently asked to speak about how to market small business; in fact today I am speaking at a Nashville Chamber of Commerce event called CEO Storytellers.  I plan to discuss how I started Lovell Communications:  our company history, our growth, challenges we’ve faced, managing cash flow and other tidbits I think small business owners worry about. One of the tips I will likely relate is that every small business owner needs a mentor, coach, friend, confidante and/or advisory board.  A friend might give you the courage and confidence to make the leap of faith when you want to start your business; a coach might help you decide if you have the personality or characteristics to be a entrepreneur; a mentor might help you think through your business plan and an advisory board might guide you to the financing you’ll need. Frequently small business owners can get so busy, so focused and so crazed that they don’t have time to sit quietly and listen to outside advice.  I admit it; I’m sometimes guilty of keeping my nose to the grindstone so much that I don’t come up for perspective or planning. So yesterday I finally got around to taking a half a day “off” to meet with a business consultant.   We went through short term plans, long term dreams, real life challenges and worrisome road blocks.  We didn’t have time to develop all the answers, of course.  But it did put me back on track, give me some focus and “fire me up” to do some long-term planning and make some strategic adjustments. I’d forgotten how isolated a small business owner can become, and I’m glad I took my own advice to bring in a consultant who specializes in one area and can provide expert guidance, insight and perspective.  It’s well worth the investment.

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