SMB Owners: Three Misconceptions

Friday, July 27, 2012
Posted by John Beagle

By: Tiffany S. Thatcher, Undergraduate Student

Owning an SMB may seem desirable to some because of the flexible hours and the draw of being your own boss, but what many don’t realize is that these statements are not necessarily true. If you talk to a business owner about it, you will find that he/she doesn't get a day off. Kristin Leigh, CEO of a promotional products business called KLAS Products, agrees that the business is always on the mind of a business owner.

“You eat, sleep (or don’t sleep), breath, and live your business,” Leigh said. “I am always thinking about [things like] is the rush order I processed yesterday going to be on time? Was the last ad I placed online going to work? Did our customer pay their invoice?”

1. Your Own Boss
Technically, a business owner is the boss, but there is another boss that many forget about. The client. Just like a boss pays an employee, the client is who pays the business owner. These clients will impact the business owner’s schedule. Hopefully there are plenty of clients and plenty to do, but if there are not, then the task changes to finding more clients. The client or lack thereof, is the real boss.

2. Make Lots of Money
Many people think that business owners are all wealthy. This is because some of the very wealthy people in the world are business owners, but one should not forget that most businesses fail. When a business fails, this is not similar to getting fired. A person will invest all that they have into a business, so there is a lot to loose. Not all business owners make a lot of money, and the time it takes to build a business and make it to that point takes a lot of sacrifice and stress.

3. Flexible Hours
When you own a business, it is always on your mind. Business owners almost always take their work home and are always working or thinking about work because there is always something more to be done. It is true that a business owner can decide to take a day off, but not without repercussions.

A business owner will have goals, and tasks that need to be done in order to reach those goals. Mike Thatcher owns a small business supplying rocks to landscapers, and constantly has many tasks to do. He has no regular employees, so all web, photography, graphic and marketing work needs to be done by him, on top of delivering rocks. All tasks are important, and most should be done as soon as possible when you have a business. In order to make money, he must work.

A business is stressful. It is not a dream boat all of the time. Many can’t take the heat, but those who stick to it have the option of working hard and becoming one of the great business owners.