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What’s on the bucket list for your small business?

Friday, June 14, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rhette Baughman
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Let’s face it; every business will eventually reach its demise and cease to exist. The end of the road for a business can be reached via a number of different outcomes such as a planned exit strategy, sale, consolidation, or failure. Eventually, it will cease to exist. It’s the same for us humans. We all know that some day we will die, but in the meantime we try to live happy, meaningful lives.

What humans and businesses have in common is that both have basic needs essential for survival. For a human its food and shelter. For a business the most basic need for survival is profitability. Once your business achieves that most basic survival need, what’s next? What’s on your small business bucket list?

For those of you who have not seen the 2007 movie "The Bucket List,” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, it’s a list of things you want to do or achieve before you die, or kick the bucket.

I’d bet many of you have created a bucket list and kudos to you who have begun to cross items off the list, added new ones, and have found joy in doing so. Although a business is not a living, breathing thing, it does seem to take a life of its own, so why not start a bucket list for your small business.

What do you want your business to do and achieve before it kicks the bucket? We’re not talking about goals such as increased revenue or market share. Those would be in your business plan. Think big. Be bold and swing for the fence. You have nothing to lose as these are your thoughts on paper.

It’s also a powerful exercise that can help you see your business from a different vantage point and add some excitement and meaning to its life. If swimming with sharks, running a marathon and building your dream home are items on your personal bucket list, what would the equivalent of each be on your small business bucket list?

Think about how much more meaningful the life of your business would be if you had a bucket list and were crossing items off and adding new ones. I reached out to some members of the Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) and asked what would be on their small business bucket lists. Here are some of their responses:

Do something innovative

What is your business or industry not known for? Do something creative and innovative that has never been seen before in your industry. Something that will set you apart from you competitors, mix things up for your staff and wow your customers.

Pay it forward

Provide scholarships and training to high school students who have an interest in your industry. Sponsor community events, provide leadership on a local board of directors and become known as a good corporate citizen.

Go global

Just because you are small doesn’t mean you can’t go global. Expand your business into a new foreign market.

Get rejected, come back bigger and better

No one plans to fail and rejection is no fun but there is no doubt that both are great teachers. If you have not learned a recent lesson from rejection and failure, you’re not trying hard enough.

Figure out this social media stuff

Even if you’ve convinced yourself that your business does not need social media, learn it anyway. Help your business benefit from it.

These are just five small business bucket list ideas ASBA members shared with me. The only expiration dates we can count on are those on coupons and milk cartons. Your business doesn’t come with one. Make the most of the life of your small business and do what you can to make the journey more meaningful.


Jerry Bustamante is senior vice president of public policy and oversees the Southern Arizona office of the Arizona Small Business Association, 4811 E. Grant Road, Suite 262, in Crossroads Festival, (520) 327-0222.

 Source: Inside Tucson Business

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