Thursday, October 30, 2008

Small Business Challenges

Owning a small business has LOTS of challenges...  But first, let's define small business.  It appears that the government defines you as a small business if you have less than 500 employees.  500!  My first thought was that I would then be considered a micro business, but have since been corrected, and determined that I am a NANO business.  I do have one part-time employee.

A major challenge of a small business, is equipment failure.  If any piece of equipment fails, like say, your computer, that has your entire business on it, then let's just say you are in deep doo doo.  But you call the IT department, right?  Oh wait...  you ARE the IT department.  And if you can't fix it, then you have to pay to have it fixed.  And when you are a NANO business, sometimes money for fixing stuff isn't what you planned on.

Another challenge is invoicing.  OK, so the invoicing part isn't hard, but apparently the collecting part is harder.  I have never had a problem until recently, but my largest client  changed recently due to a sale of the building where I am located.  They had an invoice due Oct. 1, and another due Nov. 1, and neither one have been paid to date.  Yes, I realize that it's not quite Nov. 1 yet, but with 2 days left to go, and no sign of anything from Oct yet either, it's quite frustrating.  Their invoice is essentially my paycheck, so that means I've not had a paycheck since Sept. 1.  And that makes it even tougher to pay for things like, say, having a computer fixed.  See the circle here?  And yet, I'm still expected to provide services, with a smile on my face, not knowing when I'll get paid for it.  I can honestly say it's getting tougher and tougher.  I've checked, and both checks were cut over a week ago, and they are being mailed from 3 blocks away.  3 blocks.  I could have walked over there and back 100 times in that amount of time, considering it's STILL NOT HERE!

Fortunately, I love what I do, and things will settle down once the system has ironed out the kinks...

And I think this new company will have some opportunites for me that will be positive.  So that gives me hope.  As long as we can keep the billing situation under control...


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