Our home, our community, it is all of our business

When is the right time to start a new business?

When is the right time to leave an existing business?

These are just a couple of questions that are on the forefront of the small business owner of today. Small businesses make up 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms and account for 63 percent of net new jobs created. Starting a new business is daunting and contains a lot of risk, but with proper planning and financial analysis, a new business owner is able to minimize the risk. True passion for what you do is not always enough to overcome all obstacles. At the North Central Iowa Small Business Development Center, we provide free business counseling for small businesses or for those who are interested in starting their own business.

What about someone wanting to retire from their business?

This is always difficult for business owners because the business is part of their family. They have helped it grow and mature into a stronger entity than when they started. Stepping back and letting the next generation or new owner take over is a difficult step. Working together with the next owner and realizing that the new owner may bring additional insight into the business and they may also have a vision for success that will keep the business vibrant and flourishing.

Being a business owner is not an easy life. A business owner spends a lot of time working on their business as well as in their business. They are also an important part of their community. The amount of involvement from local businesses in their community is going strong. Just looking around, one will notice how embedded small businesses are in area events, nonprofit boards, fundraisers and community outreach. During National Small Business Week, we encourage everyone to thank a small business owner in their community. Take the time to shop local and take notice of how everyone is making a difference in your community.

Lisa Shimkat is executive director of the North Central Iowa Small Business Development Center.