People drive business – in ways you might just not expect

Posted by on Oct 28, 2011 in Blog, Business stories | 0 comments

Over the last several months, I have interviewed quite a few business owners here in Hendricks and Morgan Counties. One of the comments I have heard from these Indiana entrepreneurs is about what drives them to pursue more business and success – and it might not be what you think.

  • You might think it would be just the pursuit of money to finance their lifestyle – you’d be wrong.
  • You might think it would be just to achieve a level of prominence in the community – you’d be wrong.
  • You might think it would be just to satisfy a need to win in the competitive business arena – you’d be wrong.

The thing that compelled these business owners to get up every morning and give 110% is the fact that they have employees – and those employees’ families count on the income that employee brings home every week – or two weeks. They feel an obligation.

Ed Schmidt, owner of Sign*A*Rama in Avon started it by saying it scared him to death. Then Jeff Yater, founder and owner of Squealers Award winning Barbeque restaurants, said he got out of bed every morning determined to do his best because his employees were that important. He has some who have been with him for over 10 years.

I have also talked to several business owners that have had to downsize or, in one case, completely close the doors. They would talk about the blow to their business the economy has been and be resolute – and dry-eyed. However, when they would talk about having to let any of their employees go, their eyes would fill up and sometimes even spill over. You know when you see a 50-year-old in such a state that it is more than “the way it goes in business.”

It made me realize the role employees play, especially in small businesses. Here in Indiana, the majority of full-time employees are working for small businesses. They are people – people with hopes and dreams and families – and they are valued by the people who employ them.

In fact, “they are like family” comes up over and over. So these employers do everything they can to generate more business and make their business a success – as much for those who work for them as for themselves.

Perhaps it’s time to talk to the employees to see if they see things from the same perspective – or is it just a paycheck? I wonder if they understand the hours spent wide-eyed in the dark pondering ways to increase business to their benefit.

For small business owners, there is seldom a day that is “business as usual” because every day is a day to build – for themselves and those that work for them.

Just think about it

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