Monday October 20, 2014
Strategy and Marketing
14
Dec

shutterstock 144727720Q.  What are the most important attributes for a small businessperson?

A. In our opinion, the most important is adaptability. In most cases, what you start out to do will not be exactly what you’re doing when you are ultimately successful. As you roll out your enterprise, you’ll discover that things you expected to work well don’t. You’ll stumble into things that you didn’t expect to work that will. You’ll see others in your industry doing things that will work for your organization, and you’ll copy them. You must be able to adapt.

Even if your initial ideas work flawlessly, the world will change. We know an entrepreneur who went into business as a residential Realtor. When the market for home sales collapsed, he morphed his business into property management since the two businesses require similar skills, but are counter-cyclical. We’ve been forced to morph our own business multiple times.

If you are going to be a small businessperson, the only thing that will be constant is change. You will have to adapt or see your enterprise swallowed up by a rising tide of change.

A close second to adaptability is persistence.

Inevitably, the journey of a small businessperson will be filled with bumps in the road. You’ll lose big customers. Good employees will leave your company — some may become competitors. The government will change regulations, almost always making things more complex. To succeed, you will have to be willing to persist through difficult times. Nothing can take the place of persistence, and you can’t succeed without it.

In addition to the willingness to persist, you will need the financial resources to persist. You’ll need a cash reserve that will see you through the lean times. When considering the launch of a business, assume that everything will take twice as long and cost twice as much as you expect. If you can’t afford this, delay the launch of your enterprise. Conservatism in the planning stage is often a lifesaver down the road.

Finally, you will have to be willing to work very, very hard. Running a small business is difficult. Your days will be much longer than eight hours. If your week starts on Monday, you’ll pass 40 hours on Thursday, but you won’t slow down. You’ll be on call 24/7. Success as an entrepreneur requires hard, hard work.

Running a small business is filled with challenges, but if you are adaptable, have the willingness and the wherewithal to persist and are willing to work very hard, you greatly improve your odds of success.

 
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I HIGHLY recommend Polly and Doug. They have wonderful insight to help small business owners prioritize and identify strategies for growth and improvement. Wish I had met them 20 years ago!

Sharon Madere
President
Premiere Pet Products
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Doug and Polly, I want to thank both of you! The past few months have been enlightening and overwhelming all at the same time. Your guidance, direction, wealth of knowledge, and wisdom have exceeded all my expectations. No words could ever completely describe just how amazing of a “dynamic duo” you two really are!

Dawn Beninghove, RN, CCM, CRP, PN
Chief Executive Offer
Companion Extraordinaire Nursing Network, Inc.
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My company brought Polly in as a business consultant resource to provide Professional Skills curriculum to our early and mid-career leaders. It was company leadership that brought her in - it was her success with our associates that continued to bring her back! Using her HR and corporate leadership experience and her ability to connect with people at various levels of the organization, Polly was one of the most effective outside leadership development resources I've come across in my Talent Management years. She was extremely reliable and someone that I could trust to provide solid learning experiences that aligned with our corporate value system and talent development goals.

Scot McCarthy
Director of Workforce Development, CENTRA Health
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My team and I have had the privilege of working with Polly on our business. Polly's keen business insight and savvy is something special. She was honest, direct, and tactful about her observations and recommendations for our team and how to grow our business. It was a pleasure having her help us and I would tell anyone that’s serious about growing their business to call Polly. She’s great!

John OReilly
Managing Partner
Base Camp Realty of Richmond, Inc.
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Doug White took on an unfocused operation (in the financial services sector) and created an efficient, centralized system dedicated to excellence.  He did this not by driving change from the top down, but by helping the entire team see how their part of the process could be improved. Doug then mentored us toward effecting the changes ourselves. He taught us all how to bring our “A game,” and how to take ownership and pride in what we do.

Donna Levin
Vice President of Operations
care.com
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I have known Polly for over ten years. As an HR Manager, I have utilized Polly’s training expertise at my former company and with my current company. Polly exceled at assessing the needs of our management teams and tailoring training programs that resulted in visible positive change. I also know I can count on Polly as a resource on any HR topic or bounce ideas off of her when I need a second opinion. Polly has been a mentor to me and I have always appreciated her willingness to listen and offer valuable advice and expertise.

Leigh McCullar
HR Business Solutions Manager
Sheltering Arms Physical Rehabilitation Center
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I have had the privilege of working with Polly White for several years on a variety of projects. She consistently provides clear direction on how to resolve a wide range of employment-related issues. I look forward to my continued relationship with Polly.

Elizabeth Wilkins
Business Manager
Manorhouse Management, Inc.
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