Sherwood Newkirk is a small business owner in Knightdale, North Carolina. He runs Sherwood Cleaning Service, a small business that he worked in with his father and brothers and that he took over after his father died. Sherwood Newkirk has owned and operated the business for twenty years.
The last two decades have taught Sherwood Newkirk that the small business owner is the backbone of the American economy. Ninety-nine percent of all employers are small business owners, and they provide seventy-five percent of the new jobs created every year. They are also responsible for ninety-six percent of all exported goods. Small business owners work out of garages, small stores on Main Streets, and huge corporate campuses. And in the case of Sherwood Cleaning Service, they work in private homes and in commercial buildings.
Sherwood Cleaning Service was already an established business when Sherwood Newkirk took it over twenty years ago, so he already knew its business model. But like any small business, it needed a business plan. A business plan is a roadmap to success. It includes a description of the products or services the business offers, how you are going to finance your business, deadlines for your business, and its ultimate goal.
As a small business owner, Sherwood Newkirk is aware of the six M's: Mission, Market, Message, Media, Method, and Management. The Mission is knowing exactly what services a business will provide for its client. The Market is knowing who the client is and how you can find them. The Message is a business's mission, and it has to be clear enough that the market understands who you are and what you have to offer. The Media is the best way for any business to get their message out there, by using radio, print, television, the Internet, or some other mass communication. Method is knowing what to do, with whom, with what, when and how to do it. You're in control of your business. Finally, Management is who operates the business in such a way that clients are completely satisfied.
An ideal small business owner like Sherwood Newkirk knows how to make plans, solve problems, hire, train, motivate, and lead employees. Being a small business owner is risky; it is probably the riskiest career you can choose. But with a lot of hard work and a dash of determination, and a little bit of luck, the rewards of starting and owning a small business are excellent, and can even pay off bigtime.