Being a small business owner is easy…said no one ever! Equipment issues, finding and keeping employees, finding and keeping customers, making payroll, paying rent and vehicle leases (not to mention taxes and insurance) are just some of the challenges we face on a daily basis.
You are an IT guy, a marketer, an operations manager, a mechanic, an office manager, an HR representative, a salesman, a quality control manager, and the list goes on. You must be a chameleon to be a successful business owner.
But what makes owning a business easier is growing your network. When I started my company, A-1 Window Cleaning Service back in 2009, we had a grand total of one employee (me). I did everything–all the things listed above and more–plus I went out and actually cleaned the dirty things for my customers. It was grueling at times. Answering your phone while standing on the top of a ladder, using voice-to-text while driving (I don’t condone this activity) to communicate with customers, and scarfing down a fast food sandwich between jobs were all daily occurrences. Finally I realized that I couldn’t sustain this daily grind much longer. I was listening to a podcast one day and the topic was growing your network. Basically, let someone else do all the things that you don’t enjoy or aren’t good at. At the time, I wasn’t very good at much of anything because I was trying to do it all.
So I decided to follow that advice and join some local groups to try to get to know some other local business owners. The Mooresville Chamber of Commerce was one of those groups. It didn’t happen overnight, but the more you get involved, the more you get to know and trust the other members. What you come to find out is that they may be the very people that can take things off of your plate and help you level up in business. I’ve found an accountant, a realtor, a mortgage lender, and many other professionals that I’ve fostered relationships with. You may even make a few friends along the way!
Today, I no longer work in the field, and I use my ever-growing network to help further my business on the path to success. My advice to any business owner just starting on their journey would be to get involved in the local community and start shaking hands. It is definitely an upfront time investment, but it is one that will save you many sleepless nights in the future.
Andy Hendricks, Chamber Director