August 20, 2009

Food for Though about Owning Your Own Business

Being a small business owner has been quite the interesting experience. I have learned more about the world in these last 4 months than I have learned in the last 4 years. Here are some things that I've experienced and learned.

If any of you have gotten married, you know that when you walk into a bakery to look at a cake or if you walk into a flower shop to pick out your flowers, and you tell them you're engaged, the price skyrockets for that cake or flowers. Well, the same happens if you are a small business. Our phone bill is through Qwest and the advertisements on TV make claims that you can get a small business package for $99 per month. Seems like a good deal so Qwest is who we went through. 2 months later, the we got our bill in the mail and it was $700!!! My jaw hit the floor when I saw this bill. I knew it was going to be one of our bigger expenses but $700??? Needless to say, we got it worked out but it took several weeks for ust to find someone that wasn't trying to screw us over for our loan money. Lesson #1, do NOT use Qwest as your phone company and do NOT tell other bigger companies you are a small business. Not only did this happen with Qwest but other companies wanted our money as well such as, Startribune, etc. We are now a target because we have loan money just BURNING a hole in our pockets.

Because we are a new small business, our lovely friends at Qwest then sold our phone number to credit card companies so at least 4 times a day we get phone calls from people wanting to sell us a credit card or a credit card processer. We already HAVE a credit card processor and we don't NEED a credit card. One day a credit card processor solicitor called and I proceeded to tell her we were already the proud owners of a CC machine. Her next line was, "okay well, please don't tell me you got the CC processor through the bank, they just can't be trusted." Dumbfounded, I could barely grasp the words to say to her, "and I'm supposed to trust YOU?! I don't even KNOW you!" ... click. Lesson #2, don't trust anyone.

Lastly, I've learned that EVERYONE in business has an alterior motive. This is the most difficult aspect of my job. Because I am in healthcare, I try my best to trust the people I talk to and care for them. Two personal aspects that other business personel push aside to make a quick buck. Lesson #3, always ask yourself, what does this person have to gain from what I can give them and will it TRULY help me in the end.

That's all for today, just some food for though on this rainy afternoon.
Dr. Julie