The Big Six of Running a Small Business

Are you Ready to Start Running a Small Business?

Expanding your horizon and leaping into your entrepreneurial dreams can be one of the most liberating and difficult things one can do in a lifetime. We are conditioned to believe that stability comes in the form of a traditional career path. College, interview, office job, and a 401(k). However, many of the entrepreneurs holding positions at multinational corporations started out running a small business. Big ideas start in small places. Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Mantel, Disney, Amazon, and Google are invariable major players in the business the world. 

Another thing these companies all have in common is they started in a garage. Now, we’re not saying that quitting your job this second and finding a new place to park your car is the best way to start running a small business. The lesson entrepreneurs should take away from icons like Zuckerberg or Larry Page is that rags to riches is possible with the right variables. These variables are not an inherent thing some are blessed to be born with, while others miss out. The derivation of success is a combination of passion, tenacity, and vision.

Opening a startup, buying a franchise, and running a small business take these same three variables. Like any situation in business, without having a systematic method to determine your success, leaves things up to chance. Business isn’t a gamble.

Business is a calculated risk.

Read further to study how adopting tactics and business philosophies can help attain huge personal successes while running a small business.

1. Honing Your Vision

Proverbially, courage is 50 percent fear. Making a courageous decision in business means believing in your ideas and goals but also being savvy enough to know the risks. Believing in your idea is the belief in yourself. An entrepreneur can have what seems like a full-proof business model, to begin running a small business, but fail to execute if they don’t believe wholeheartedly that they can handle the pressure.

Visualize yourself running a small business. What does this look like? Are you running a startup software development firm? Are you working alongside animals in the pet industry?

What makes you happy?

Knowing what to expect can help channel inhibitions into actions. Once you find an industry, market niche, or concept that you are passionate about, this will help you with the initial configuration you need delineate before starting up.

2. Research & Data

Before you can begin running a small business, you need to know the ins-and-outs of the industry you choose. This means homework! Business success is contingent on writing a pristine business plan. The process of writing out a business plan forces you to organize your thoughts and imagine unforeseen possibilities. This will also come in handy if you need to pitch your small business to a loan agency or find a partnership.

Points to Include in a Strong Business Plan:

  • Industry Analysis
  • Customer Demographics
  • Demand & Needs
  • Business Model
  • Overview of Competition
  • Risks
  • Implementation Plan
  • Financial Projection
  • Financial Needs

Compiling the data and key metrics surrounding your small business is the difference between failure and readiness. Remember, your goals should more than financial profit. Goals should encompass the why of business.

3. Getting Started

Fear is paralyzing. The best way to prevent getting inhibited by fear is doing the research to know what you’re up against. Still, many continue to make excuses on why they shouldn’t get started. “It’s not the right time.” “I’m just too busy.” “I need to think about it more.”

Stop. When you justify fear, you become your own Achilles heel.

Admittedly it is hard to gauge when the right time to open is. Sometimes it’s a gut feeling, other times, seismic shifts in our lives tell us it’s time. Reliance on these situations works but also keep in the mind the timeliness of the market. An advantageous moment in the marketplace might be the best signaling that it’s time to get your operation running. For instance, if your vendors operate seasonally and are running discounts or there is high demand for your service or product, this might be your moment. Running a small business is a constant finger on the pulse to keep overhead low. Lack of cash flow is one of the biggest causes of failure, so look for strategic opportunities to get started or expand.

4. Find the Right Support

Surrounding yourself with the right people from the bottom to the top increases your chances of prevailing in the business world. Finding a mentor, attending conventions & networking, or even buying a franchise are routes to getting the training and support you will need to adequately run a small business.

Visiting your local SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) chapter, a resource partner of the Small Business Administration can help pair you with a mentor. Retired executives have an abundance of rich information to help steer your business. Subscribing to literature—business magazines like Forbes or Entrepreneur can also help you enter the dialogue of your industry. Buying a franchise is one the safest routes. A franchisor will train you and your team with proven methods for success.

Hiring the right people is also vital. Make sure the people you choose to employ are on board with your vision. Equally important, is that they possess the competent skills to be able to perform their job duties and help brainstorm around issues that will inevitably arise.

5. Kneading Out the Issues

Ask anyone running a small business, the notion of smooth sailing is a myth. Problems will arise. When they do, it’s important to be prepared for them and to act decisively. Consider this: you open a retail store in a high visibility area. A year into opening, a major construction project begins blocking access to your new store and cuts off foot traffic. Your sales start to plummet. How do you work around this?

  • What about competition?
  • Do you have the resources to begin scaling?
  • What is securing your products or services?
  • What makes your business unique?
  • Have you had a successful local marketing campaign?

Many issues are preventable. The key to working around these problems is foreseeing them and having a contingency plan. If you have your pathways mapped out it’s easier to steer around dead ends. Even unpreventable situations can be planned for. If construction begins on the street in the front of your store, this is the best time to get your e-store up and running.

6. Discipline & Accountability

Taking your entrepreneurial vision and transforming that idea into a functioning and profitable business takes discipline. Losing focus or momentum can be another huge inhibition. One of the strongest gym franchises—Anytime Fitness—stayed true to their roots and the outcome was favorable. By focusing on what they were good at, the gym franchise grew hugely. The same is true for Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique. Finding a market niche in a growing industry propelled the pet franchise company forward. Focusing on what works can take a company far.

Discipline works harmoniously with accountability. Make yourself accountable to your team, your customers, but most importantly yourself.


We at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wish you the best of luck running your small business! For more information on tips for success click here.


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Check Out the Best Team Communication Tools of 2017

The business world requires a certain amount of synergy between departments, colleagues, and teams. Reaching this synergy can be simple. Effective communication in the workplace enables your whole organization to stay on the same page. In the modern world, companies are using the best team communication tools to get every employee unified in one central dialogue. These tools take the form of powerful and dynamic apps that allow for productive collaboration. Productive collaboration can mean the difference between foreseeing trends, controlling your business, or plummeting from a lack of foresight.

The best team communication tools help make time-tracking, project management, and communication & collaboration seamless. General operational aspects of your business are optimized with communication software and tools. Scaling companies can use communication software to help make changes succinct and increase productivity with cooperative workflow. There are dozens of team communication tools available. Most options are relatively inexpensive and will be worth the subscription.

The pet franchise company, Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique, has developed its own proprietary software that performs all the functions of the best team communication tools. The terminal software is an individualized and perfected tool for Splash and Dash franchise owners. Functions like employee scheduling, time-clock, time-off, POS, and communication are all features handled within the dashboard. The most advantageous component of the software is that company developers can tweak the functions—meeting the needs of each franchise owner.

For small business owners, or those just looking for the best team communication tools, Splash and Dash has compiled a list of the 8 best team communication tools available for your company.

Evernote Business

Evernote Business is an extension of the note-taking app named simply, Evernote. The difference is the app allows users to share ideas with a large number of people with a team collaboration tool. This tool resembles a giant digital whiteboard. Colleagues can jot down notes as contributions of their ideas and work-production within the whiteboard. This allows teams to work in real-time across the globe with all ideas centralized.


  • Collaboration in a Single Workspace
  • Systemizes Team Projects
  • Search Documents Without Opening Them
  • Presentation Mode
  • Idea Boards

Price: $12 per user/month


Trello is a multifunctional app that arranges notes and projects in logical order. This app’s navigation is simple but elegant, offering information at a glance. Trello is used by Fortune 500 companies like Adobe, Google, and Pixar. Operating Trello is a fun and intuitive process with drag-and-drop tasks appearing under different statuses. Each status indicates a tasks’ priority level.


  • Prioritizes/Organizes Tasks List by Date & Concern
  • Management Board Displays Tasks & Ideas
  • Collaboration Commenting
  • Create Multiple Task Boards
  • File Attachment

Price: Standard–Free/ $5/month for Trello Gold

Liquid Planner

Liquid Planner uses smart technology to set realistic goals for project management. The software uses a combination of best-case and worst-case scenarios to prioritize. As one of the best team communication tools, the software handles project management, time-tracking, and communication. The dashboard is responsive and adapts to your team’s workflow.


  • Estimates Realistic & Practical Range of Time for Task Completion
  • Commenting on Schedule & Tasks
  • Collaboration Boards
  • Resource Management
  • Scheduling Screen

Price: Standard Plan (50 projects) $29 user/month–Professional (300 projects) $39 user/month


Slack software is one of the best team communication tools for companies that need to be in constant communication. Users can create a Slack channel—set up notifications–to create a constant dialogue feed that all relevant employees on the channel can see in real-time. This boosts productivity and helps managers get insight into the timeline of each project. The software is packed with shortcuts and timesavers that makes it easier on your team.


  • Team Chat Communication
  • Integration with Apps like Google Drive/Box/Dropbox
  • Set Reminders
  • Highlight Words for Notifications
  • Team Correspondence
  • Slackbots

Price: Basic Plan is free—Standard Plan $8 user/month—Plus Plan $15 user/month

Concept Inbox

Concept Inbox is the ideal communication tools for teams that collaborate on creative tasks like graphic design, app design, and annotation on video design. This software helps clients work with teams within the creative process. Planning, prototyping, and templated approved designs can streamline your team’s task list.


  • Prototyping Web/Mobile/Tablet Apps
  • Commenting/Annotating On Designs & Notes
  • File Sharing of Videos/ Design Image Files/ PDFs
  • Real-Time Collaboration
  • Discuss Work with Clients & Stakeholders
  • Version Control
  • Project History

Price: Starter Plan (3 projects) $14/month—Unlimited Plan (unlimited projects) $25/month—Small Team Plan (5 users) $49/month


Airtable is great for teams that are looking to expand the limitations of Excel and Google Sheets. The interactive spreadsheets allow multiple users to work on documents in real-time while allowing organized ideas, admins, and attachment of documents & images for specified rows and cells. The app’s collection of editable templates helps automate a tedious workload. Templates cover everything from film production to wedding planning.


  • Instantly Synced Changes Via Cloud-Computing
  • Multiple Dashboard Views
  • Link Related Content
  • Integration with Most Major Apps

Price: Standard is Free—Plus $10/month—Pro $20/month—Enterprise, Individualized Pricing


Fleep is one top best team communication tools for the next generation of chatting. The software was developed with project collaboration in mind with channels able to integrate between email apps or Google Hangouts. No matter what messenger tool your team uses, Fleep can sync every conversation. This cuts out hours of redundancy from back-and-forth emailing.


  • Team Member/Partner Chatting
  • Email Compatibility & Integration
  • Pin Important Messages to Side of Any Conversation
  • File Sharing

Price: Standard is Free—Business $5 users/month—More plans available on request


Notion takes the team management experience and flips all obsolete modes on their heads. This tool makes planning & discussing projects, sharing, and project management effortless tasks. The notion can be altered for a tailored experience that meets your company’s specific needs. Alongside this individualization, the software is easily integrated into other chat apps for more streamlined communication.


  • To-Do Lists
  • Weekly Planner
  • Note Taking
  • File Sharing
  • Commenting
  • Project Planning
  • Weekly Checklist
  • Shared Whiteboard Navigation

Price: Free (5 users)—Pro Plan $5 user/month

How to Find the Best Software for Your Team

With countless multifunctioning apps out there, it’s hard to discern which is the best team communication tool for your team’s specific needs. Figuring out which one to go with is as simple as asking yourself a few questions.

What is the problem?

What issues are you trying to eliminate, solve, or automate? Consider what your team needs. What tools can better equip them to do their jobs? If too much time is spent on creative brainstorm meetings, finding a simple communication tool like Slack can help to stop excessive meetings. With Slack allowing more room for real-time collaboration, your team is in constant dialogue.

Map the Current Workflow

Before considering automating apps, single out the logistics that your team spends on tedious activities. This is the first step in eliminating redundancy (your employees will appreciate it). If a specific type of software can help facilitate the daily workload for employees, begin your search there.

Find the Solution

Business software providers typically design their products around an arising issue that’s common in the workplace. If your company’s issue is feeling inhibited by the limitations of standard emailing. It is time to find a more comprehensive communication app for your team to boost productivity. The perfect app offers a solution to your problem. Fortunately, many communication software applications offer free trials. This way, you can trial-and-error experiment to find the best one for your team. However, remember that too much change can often lead to dissent, so do your research first before implementing software changes.


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