In my post about the Catholic Marketing Trade Show, I suggested that low attendance by stores can be attributed to a lack of interest on the part of store owners in running their stores like businesses. While I still believe that this is the primary reason for low attendance, a retailer suggested that another reason is that the store owner is the employee and if he isn't in, the store is closed.
I actually believe that this is part of the “not run like a business” syndrome. Consider, if you as a business owner get sick and you are the only person who can run the store, not only are you sick but your business isn't producing any income to assist you in paying your bills. Also, if you are the only employee you really can't take a vacation unless your store can afford to be closed for a week.
If you think owning your own business makes you an entrepreneur, think again. If you have a business that you can never leave, you aren't an entrepenuer you are a slave to your business and that isn't healthy.
If you truly want to be an entrepreneur you will need to do a few things.
- You need to decide that you want your business to be a business and not a charity that you fund.
- You need to create procedure manuals for your business. Do this before you hire someone so you can decide exactly how you want things done and can start your employees on the right path. When you create a manual you will need to write down every step of how things are done (opening the store, closing the store, taking an order, processing a return, etc.). Don't make assumptions about what people know otherwise things are much more likely to not be done the way you needed.
- Hire someone or find a volunteer who shares your values and can be entrusted to follow the procedures you lay out.
- Train this person and let him run as much as possible in the store so that if you aren't available, the store can still run.
- Enjoy your new-found free time to plan ways to grow your business so that next year you can take a vacation and attend the CMN show.