Small-business owners and entrepreneurs, you have a lot on your minds.
We asked you to tell ShopTalk about the No. 1 problem keeping you awake at night. From worries about having enough money to paying employees to balancing your work and personal life to figuring out how to run your business full time, you shared with us a range of answers in our question of the week contest.
The winning answer is from Joseph Grimes, owner of B&J Barber-Stylist Shop in Charlotte, who gets the $25 gift card from Blackhawk Hardware.
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“In recent years, the economic crisis the country has faced has caused many sleepless nights,” Grimes wrote.
“My primary worries are financial. My business has been directly impacted by the unemployment increases and reductions in forces in the banking industry in Charlotte. Hair cuts and personal grooming fall to the bottom of an individual’s list of needs when they are trying to make ends meet.”
Grimes has run his shop in the same location, at 2200 Beatties Ford Road, for 21 years.
Here are some of your responses, edited for brevity:
• Julie Tuggle, Carolina Buyer’s Agent: The stubborn unemployment rate. Our company specializes in helping buyers purchase homes, and the unemployment rate has stifled consumer confidence in the economy, which in turn affects homebuyers’ timing for purchasing a home or moving up. The economic outlook is still blah and stagnant.
• Mark Duvall, Duvall LLC: Making payroll for next week.
• Joel Hawkins, Market Street Soap Works, Fort Mill: I currently work full time and run Market Street Soap Works. I really want to run my business full time. How can I take that leap and how do I know when I should take the leap with minimal risk while still supporting my family?
• Juli Treadway, Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation, Charlotte: My main concern is balance. I tend to work too much, especially during tax season, and my family suffers from it. Being self-employed is so different from working a 9-5 job because you can’t just lock the door at 5:00 and forget it. I used to have offices and it was easier then. Now, I work from home and it’s so easy to just go into my home office and do something when I think about it.
• Cory Tapia, Blue Motion Studio, Charlotte: Keeping clients happy.
• Fabi Preslar, Spark Enterprises, Charlotte: Payroll hours vs. billable hours – what are options for handling tracked employee hours that exceed or double the actual billable time on projects? (Or similarly if client instructions aren’t followed or other errors are made.) The costs cannot be passed along to the client.
• Laura Yopp, Bookkeeping, Charlotte: That I will get sick or hurt and I can’t work and I end up losing my customers.
• Caci Thompson, Toccare Day Spa, Charlotte: Nothing keeps me awake at night! I’m too tired from all the work that goes into running your own business.