One of the most painful times in my life was when a small business we owned was forced to close. This company had been in business for over 40 years. We owned it for 15 of those years. The first few years under our ownership the company continued to be profitable. After a few years we noticed some small negatives begin to occur. We thought they were temporary and didn’t really address them. Unfortunately, things continued to go downhill until we got to 2008 when the economy tanked. We could not survive the downturn and had to sell the business. Unable to find a buyer we had to sell everything at auction. The day of the sale was one of the most miserable days of my life.
It would be easy to blame the closure of the business on the economy, but the fact is that many small businesses survived 2008. We also need to recognize that some businesses fail in strong economies so it’s a mistake to always blame the economy when a business fails. The bottom line is that our company failed because of mistakes that I as the owner made. Everything rises and falls on leadership, and my poor leadership forced the business to close.
After the auction I spent a lot of time reflecting on what I could have done differently. When an economy is strong it can cover up a lot of leadership mistakes, but when an economy weakens as it did in 2008 those mistakes are uncovered. It uncovered a lot that I made. Some were relatively minor ones that alone would not have had a great impact on a business, but when they are added together they can have a great negative impact.
One of my primary gifts is teaching. That’s why I write this blog and why I’ve written several books on small church ministry. After our business failed I wanted to spare others from going through what I went through. I decided to write a book on leading a successful small business, and I chose to write on the mistakes that small owners need to avoid. Throughout the book I share the mistakes I made and what should have been done differently. Every one of the mistakes I made could have been avoided, and our business would probably continue to operate today. If I can help you avoid making the same mistakes then something good will come from that painful period in my life.
Mistakes: Avoiding the Wrong Decisions that Will Close Your Small Business is available as an e-book for either your Kindle or NOOK device. It is available for only $4.99 and can be ordered by clicking on the link on the right side of the page. This is a very small price to pay to avoid some mistakes that you might be making and not even be aware of it.