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2.Identify sources of small business assistance from the Small Business Administration.KEY TERMS AND DEFINITIONSService Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE)SBA program in which a businessperson needing advice is matched with a member of a team of retired executives working as volunteers.Small Business Development Center (SBDC)SBA program in which centers housed at colleges and other locations provide free training and technical information to current and prospective small business owners.KEY TAKEAWAYS•Business owners face numerous challenges, and the ability to meet them is a major factor in success (or failure). As a business owner, you should do the following:1.Know your business. Successful businesspeople are knowledgeable about the industry in which they operate, and they know who their competitors are.2.Know the basics of business management. To managea business, you need to understand the functional areas of business—accounting, finance, management, marketing, and production.3.Have the proper attitude. You should believe in what you’re doing and make a strong personal commitment to it.4.Get adequate funding. Plan for the long term and work with lenders and investors to ensure that you’ll have sufficient funds to get open, stay open during the start-up phase, and, ultimately, expand.5.Manage your money effectively. You need to pay attention to cash flow—money coming in and money going out—and you need to know how to gather the financial information that you require to run your business.6.Manage your time efficiently. You must develop time-management skills and learn how to delegate responsibility.7.Know how to manage people. You need to develop a positive working relationship with your employees, train them properly, and motivate them to provide quality goods or services.
8.Satisfy your customers. Commit yourself to satisfying—or even exceeding—customer needs.9.Know how to compete. Find your niche in the marketplace, keep an eye on your competitors, and be prepared to react to changes in your business environment.•Businesses fail for any number of reasons, but many experts agree that the vast majority of failures result from some combination of the following problems:1.Bad business idea. Like any idea, a business idea can be flawed, either in the conception or in the execution.2.Cash problems. Too many new businesses are underfunded.3.Managerial inexperience or incompetence. Many new business owners have no experience in running a business, and many have limited management skills.4.Lack of customer focus. Some owners fail to make the most of a small business’s advantage in providing special attention to customers.5.Inability to handle growth. When a company grows, some owners fail to delegate work or to build an organizational structure that can handle increases in volume.