There’s so much in the world around right now that feels out of our control. And many businesses are on that list too. It’s not okay to skip paychecks on a regular basis. It’s not okay to feel like you could never take a vacation. It’s not okay not to know how much profit you made in your business until your taxes are done.

The top challenges in existing business are poor cash flow management, people issues, lack of processes, a non-existent sales strategy, and no planning process. If you are constantly cash-strapped with little or no credit capacity that is very stressful. There are three kinds of people challenges; you need help and don't have any staff, you have the wrong people working for you, or you haven’t taken the time to train the people you have, which is why they are not performing the way you need them too. If you are walking around with everything about how your business runs in your head, your business can’t run without you and you can’t delegate to employees. You must have an efficient way to generate and track sales in your business. And having a regular planning process is key to business success. You need a plan so that you can track your progress against your business goals.

I spend a lot of time on leadership mindset in Fix Your Business: A 90-Day Plan to Get Your Life Back and Reduce Chaos in Your Business because 50% of all business problems are not so well hidden personal problems. You will need to lead your business out of its current state. Being able to unite people to work as a team is probably the most important skill for a business owner. Developing leadership skills can be done but requires some reflection and action. I was 26 when I started in business, and I learned to be a better leader by investing in leadership and management training and reading books on leadership. I think that’s the most important message as it relates to Leadership: Leadership can be taught.

I am a successful entrepreneur because I have never believed I couldn't be successful. I use being nice and good to work with as my secret weapon. I am constantly reading and learning to be a better leader. I don't take a no from anyone who can’t say yes. I leverage technology to be more effective in my business. I am relentlessly consistent in my business habits. I do not believe in daily to-do lists. I make business decisions based on my budget and my current financial statements and I believe in paying vendors quickly. I delegate things I don’t do well or enjoy, and I have a team of mentors who I call for advice regularly. I also pray over my business regularly.

Melinda F. Emerson “SmallBizLady”