A Helpful Handy Hint from your ol’ Aunt Jane…

Posts in this category are two-parters: Today is the back story; tomorrow is the WHY behind the hint…

It was around 7:30pm on October 29, 2012.

I just finished preparing Martha Stewart’s famous Brick Chicken and I made the huge mistake of checking my phone to see the video feed coming from our store.

I instantly lost my appetite.

I watched a big wooden character cut-out on its stand float from the front of the store to the back. I could clearly see water flowing down the street, in the front door and through the entirety of our store.

Within the half hour, power went out, the video feed went down and dinner got packed up and put away.

Morning brought out our old stove top coffee pot, a quick breakfast and a walk-around the block. Damage everywhere. Move onto our trip to Coney Island, we drove over sand dunes on Ocean Parkway and surveyed damage to every single building on the road. Our store? Everything below six feet was sunk – complete garbage. Every business for miles had similar damage. So more, none less.

Where to begin? Well, begin at the beginning. Here was the criteria – can it be saved? Yes? Clean it. No? Out in the street! One thing was learned very fast – getting back on our feet was essential. We were a mini-business – sales not in the millions but still a successful business. If we worked, we made money. If we closed for a day or forever, we had no money.

So you go back to work and you do what you know. What you need to know is just “working” is not enough. With almost every business being affected in this COVID-19 pandemic shut-down, it is important for all business owners to understand the business of business.

“My accountant knows that stuff”; “”I have a lawyers that deals with that”; “If I work, I’m good”; “Just let me work”. Heard it, actually said it especially after Superstorm Sandy. But here’s the lesson I learned – you have to get out of your own way with that kind of talk.

Yes, we went back to work. And it wasn’t until almost two years later, that I learned the things I should have been looking at to determine our direction for our comeback and our continuation. I was accepted into the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Initiative which helped me learn about the business or business.

So many small business owner’s open their companies up because of the talent, service or product they bring to their customers/clients. They never really know much about the running of the business and never really care to know! Let me tell you something first hand, you need to know about business in order to have a successful one. Well, here’s helpful handy hint #1…..

If you don’t pay attention to your business, your business isn’t going to PAY YOU!

Tomorrow’s Part 2: All about PAYING YOU!

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