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Power User Spotlight: Set Small Goals and Look Out for Yourself

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Power User Spotlight: Set Small Goals and Look Out for Yourself

By JimD
Published: October 13, 2010

Inspired
by feeling undervalued as an employee, Stephen Sandecki gave up his job as a
district manager and started his own business. Stephen is an active member in
the Community and shares what he has learned through research and experience.

Business.gov
interviewed Stephen, also known as
NRiddle in the Community, for some
insight into owning and running a small business.

How
did you start your small business? What was the deciding factor that convinced
you to take the leap?

I used to be a district manager and we
were coming up with some new marketing methods. The company chose a method that
caused people to lose their jobs. This upset me and I felt that I had to move
on.

I wanted to hire employees and care about
them. I have not had the opportunity to hire more people yet, but will one day.
I feel that you need to care about your employees and not just the bottom line.
People are your biggest asset and giving them job security is important.


What is the toughest challenge you faced in your experience as a small business
owner? How did you meet that challenge?

Getting the ball rolling was the toughest
for me. When you decide to start a business, sometime it is hard to predict
what challenges you will meet. You will face many challenges before you even
start the business. Once you get the ball rolling, you then need to keep it
rolling. There is no room to relax when you are starting. I am a one-man
business. If I stop working or stop giving my full attention, I do not make
money. I overcame the challenge by continuing to push. I worked hard and
reinvested into my business.

The rough economy in 2008 put me at a
crossroads. Was I going to continue pushing my small business or do I need to
go back into the regular workforce? I decided to stick with it and it ended up
working out well for me. A company decided to buy a website I developed right
at the same time I needed the money to make a purchase myself. This ended up
increasing my bottom line.

What were some of the lessons you learned
that you could share with other business owners?

Set realistic goals. You need to come up
with a good game plan. By setting smaller goals, you can accomplish them.
Having goals that you are not planning on accomplishing can just clutter up
your time and does not push you in the right direction.

I also found that setting short-term goals
for 3-6 months out make them easier to handle. When starting and running a
small business, many factors will change. Goals with long time frames may
become irrelevant. If you want to open a storefront, what small goals do you
need to accomplish before you actually open the doors?

If
you were to give a person who wants to start a business one piece of advice
what would it be?

Stick to your game plan and do not change
it all the time. Many small business owners spend all their time chasing
different directions and leads. Others will change anytime someone has a
suggestion or they read about a new technique.

Another good skill to have is to
understand all the finances. Finances are the most important part of a starting
business because that is usually the limiting resource. Keep your personal and
business expenses separate so you can see where the money is going and coming
from. If the lines blend, it is hard to control the amount you are investing
and the revenues business is making. Taxes can get confusing, but you should
not rely completely on someone else. Take a community college course on taxes.
It will teach you the basics so you can understand your accountant.

What
resources do you use when deciding what direction to take your small business?

I do a lot of reading both online and
offline. You do not need to go out and buy a million;how t- books on
business. I use the library and bookstores to look through books. I also talk
with people about their personal experiences and opinions, but remember with
all advice pertaining to your business, take it with a grain of salt. It is
your business and you need to feel confident on what you are doing. Take the
advise and the adapt it to your business plan and your business.

Quick
Facts

Username: NRiddle

Date Registered: March 30, 2010

Total Messages Posted: 73

Total Kudos Received: 92

As
of 10/07/2010

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About the Author:

Jim

Comments:

I would like more on how to jump from the garage to a stablished business!

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