Is 2010 the year you make your small business work for you?

If you own a small business, or considering starting or buying a small business, this article could give you a path to make your life as a small business owner more enjoyable.

Let this be the year you finally change your relationship with your business.

It will be difficult, you have habits and assumptions that won’t be easy to set aside. If you adopt a few principles the day-to-day, hour by hour decisions will be easier, more predictable and less stressful . Many small business owners are so bogged down in the details of their business they have never really given much thought to the principles that guide their business. Even though they haven’t thought much about their business principles rest assured the business is being run by certain principles. For instance, is your pricing based on cost plus? Or based on competitive position? Is your business principle is to always recommend what is best for the customer or is your policy to recommend the the customer what is most profitable for you?

Here are a few principles I suggest you consider in 2010:

  • Start every business day by spending 30 minutes planning your day. Do this first every day.
  • Commit to recommending what’s best for your clients and customers, not what’s best for you.
  • Treat your employees respectfully. Good employees won’t work long term for you if you are disrespectful. Employees who will work for a disrespectful manager long term are not employees you want.
  • You have to be fair and honest with your employees but you don’t have to be friends with them.
  • Treat your suppliers and vendors respectfully and fairly. You can be tough without being a jerk.

There it is 5 principles that might help you run your business without interference from “situational ethics”. If you apply the above principles in every situation you reduce the number of decisions you need to make, your employees will be easier to manage, your suppliers and vendors will more cooperative and your customers will trust you more which will lead to more long term customers.