Judith Houck, owner of Classique Floors, the Oregon Small Business Person of the Year for Oregon & Southwest Washington, was the special guest speaker at the Portland Score Chapter monthly membership meeting.  During the discussion, after her presentation, she shared some insights to others working their way through managing and growing a small business.

THE TOP 11 THINGS I WISH I HAD KNOWN ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO.

by Judith Houck, owner of Classique Floors

11.

Your credit line is not a savings account.  Save a few months worth of overhead just in case.

10.

If you're not making a profit when the economy is decent, you need to change your business model, your staff, your business in some way.  If you're not making a profit you're going out of business.  It may not be today, or tomorrow, but soon.

9.

Buy the building you're business is in, plus more rentable space when you can.  My parents rented for over 25 years.

8.

Truly understand your Profit & Loss Statement and Balance Sheet.  If you don't understand them get help & keep getting help until you do get it.  This is critical for understanding the status of your businesses financial situation.

7.

Be different.  Why should customers buy from you if your business is just the same as 20 others?

6.

Hire people that share your passion and you'll move the business forward faster. 

5.

Pay yourself a decent salary.  Don't tell yourself "I'll get my due when X happens".  e.g. X = next year, when revenue is $2m, $4M or when I sell the business, or ?

4.

As you travel to work each morning if you get more and more stressed the closer you get to your business it's time to make a change.

3.

Hire good people, train them well, help them to be happy and fulfilled in their jobs.

2.

Find a mentor, get help, you can't be great at everything (even though you think you can) and your business needs great skills applied in all areas.

1.

Lead your company to fulfill its higher purpose.  Create a company culture that is a win-win-win for the customers, the employees and the company.  “Conscious Capitalism”

THE TOP 11 THINGS I WISH I HAD KNOWN ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO by Judith Houck, owner of Classique Floors