Your approach to management can make or break your business. Here’s how to raise your game Small business owners control their own fates, and most wouldn’t have it any other way. According to the results of our survey, 91.3 per cent of respondents manage their business day-to-day. But as a certain comic book superhero once said, with great power comes great responsibility.
As a small business owner, you thought you had identified the skills you needed to succeed. You had a good idea, a working knowledge of financial matters and the drive for independence. You probably didn’t expect to need the ability to improvise. But when the buck stops with you alone, you need to be ready for anything. The comments from our survey indicate that dealing with the unexpected keeps life plenty interesting for Alberta’s small business owners.
“Jungle” Jim Hunter knows all about the value of preparation. Before entering business as a motivational speaker, Hunter represented Canada as an alpine skier at international sporting events. He won a bronze medal at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Japan. Four years later in Austria, Hunter arrived as a contender to medal again. But on his last training run before the race, he ran into a German photographer at over 100 kilometres per hour. Hunter broke everything from helmet to skis. It would have kiboshed his chances – if he hadn’t stashed a complete set of backup gear at the top of the run. After 22 years as president of Jungle Jim Hunter Management in Calgary, he still emphasizes the importance of planning.
“If you can think of what could go wrong, then you’re an idiot if you don’t prepare for it,” he says.
But he concedes that no one can see every curveball coming in business. The key to surviving unexpected crashes in business, according to Hunter, is to see the big picture and trust your creative faculties.
Jared Holmquist, Fluid Audience, Grande Prairie – “Being in business has been one of the greatest rewards, the cause of personal growth and of extreme stress, all at the same time.”
Ehmad El-Zein, ESE-LSS Life Safety Systems, Edmonton – “Being able to create and manage your own company provides a rush unlike any other. With no one to answer to, setting your own rules, I firmly feel the sense of strong independence every person yearns for.”