Since I started communicating my vision for the Small Small Business Community and Podcast, I have been asked two primary questions: What is a “small, small business?” and “why are you focusing on them?”
What is a “Small, Small Business”
There is no absolute definition of a “small, small business.” Instead, it is a way of differentiating those of us who are solopreneurs or have just one or two partners; or just a few employees or are running a “Main Street” shop in a smaller community. The Small Business Administration has different definitions based on the industry, but according to the SBA, there are situations where it is possible to have 1,500 employees and $38 million in annual revenue and still be considered a small business. This is why so many small, small businesses have trouble finding information and connections that are relevant to them.
Why are you focusing on SSB?
I have started to truly understand how critical small businesses and their leaders are to the health of our communities. As our small, small businesses thrive, so does our broader society; and I want to contribute my education, experience, and expertise to improving our society and communities through helping these businesses start, grow, survive, and succeed. But another reason I am drawn to the SSB is that I naturally feel a connection to the owners; not just because after 30 years in the corporate workforce I have become an SSB owner myself, but because I am a fifth generation member of a small community in Minnesota. I personally connect with rural SSB owners more naturally than I do with the corporate executive. Both are important, but I have found it much more life-giving to help an SSB owner double their revenue or streamline their operations than I did when I was managing a $35 billion capital markets hedging program or inventing a retirement income strategy.
My newfound focus on helping SSB owners move from chaos to confidence just, simply, feels right. It feels natural. And I can feel the weight of the impact whether I’m coaching someone one-on-one, leading a mastermind filled with peer mentors, emailing insights with an owner, or speaking at a chamber event. I am equipped to bring business insight into most situations, leveraging my education (Mathematics undergrad plus an MBA), experience (30 years in corporate analytical and leadership roles plus 20 overlapping years in nonprofit leadership), and expertise (Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and certified in Strategic Workforce Planning).
Most importantly, I also realize I cannot do it all alone; or at least not optimally. One of my greatest strengths is surrounding myself with the right people. I actually did a TEDx talk on this called, “Getting the Right Peeps in Your Jeep.”
And so, as we launch the Small Small Business Community, I am surrounding myself with the right Peeps. There are four other coaches, all with complementary skills and experiences, who will be the leading voices within the community. There will also be a number of trusted Community Experts who will be active in the forums to answer any questions raised by our members.
I am so encouraged by the experts that have asked me, “How can I join you to help them?” The answer is easy… become part of the SSB Community where we gather owners and experts to learn, grow, and celebrate together.
As part of the launch, there is a new Small Small Business Podcast that will include new interviews and discussions at least weekly. Already there have been wonderful guests to provide insights specifically for small, small business owners. Make sure to check that out on iTunes HERE or wherever you get your podcasts.
Information about the SSB Community is found at smallsmallbusiness.com and you can find out more about me at stevefredlund.com – hope to hear from you soon.