I love being a small business owner. I have a tremendous amount of pride in the fact that I struck out on my own and am following my passion in travel. There are certainly perks: I create my own schedule. I am my own boss. I am home based so my commute is from the coffee pot in the kitchen to my travel office located just off the living room. Road blocks to get into the office are merely dishes that should be loaded, traffic jams are replaced by the pile of laundry growing in the hall bin. My office colleagues are the dog at my feet and the parakeet who chats away all day. So, you know, life is good.
But if you are a small business owner then you know it’s not that simple. If things do not go well, if I’m not producing, if the paycheck is tiny, there is no one else to blame but me. I am 100 percent responsible for every aspect of this business. With the pride there is also the guilt and the blame.
This last week I was discussing college with my 13 year old son. It is my belief that no matter what your profession may be you need a solid background in sales, marketing, and business management. I keep expressing to him and his sister that you need to sell yourself, you are your own product. My son remarked that whatever his product might be, he’d just have his marketing department handle the promotion. Well, I am my marketing department. And sales, and office manager, and accounting, and R and D, and training, and web design, and the tech department, and social media and solutions management, etc, etc. If I get an idea to try to improve something, or market a new way for instance, it’s days and days of lost ground while I figure things out. Upgrading my webpage took over a week. This week I got the idea that I would like to print my own postage rather than run to the post office every other day or so. I’m still working on it. Who has time to actually sell travel?
I am harder on myself than any boss has ever been. I give myself a “meets requirements.” No pay raise this year.
However, each accomplishment no matter how small, is my success.
Thanks for joining in to follow me. I’d love to hear about your small business ownership stories. Let me know if you have thoughts or needs relating to travel, or a how to install a postage meter.
Sarah Krafty is a travel agent and owner of Krafty Travel located in the Toledo, Ohio area.
*Destination weddings and group travel