Commitment, sacrifice drive success

Published 1:24 pm Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Many people think owning their own business is the ultimate, the cat’s meow.  However, only small business owners really know the sacrifice and commitment necessary to be successful.  Some who long to be a business owner think that ownership will allow them to have more freedom, more time off and an easier role than being an employee for someone else.  Business owners have told me that though there are rewards and fulfillment an owner is always on the job.

There are many issues a business owner faces in their day to day operations.  Angie V. Jordan, owner of Co Lin Feed and Seed in Brookhaven, stated “Having dedicated employees makes my job as manager/owner easier.  Employees who are self-motivated and hard workers , who don’t have to be told everything to be done are the qualities I look for in employees.”  However, many small business owners experience the issue of the difficulty in finding qualified employees.

Chad Vaughn, co-owner of Brookhaven Milling Company, reports that “Finding qualified people for the manual labor positions in our business is not difficult. However due to the nature of the job we experience a lot of turnover.  But when looking for people to fill positions who meet the public on the front line it is more challenging.  It is critical to have people skills, an ability to learn and adjust, becoming familiar with the business and its products and services.”

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Brett Douchard, co-owner at Brookhaven Milling Company agrees and emphasized that, “You can teach skills but dependability, showing up for work every day is one of the most important traits he looks for in employees.” He further stated, “Honesty and customer service skills are necessary when meeting the public and providing customer satisfaction.”

The ways to improve the workforce begins in training young people in the home by their parents.  The commonalities of successful business owners are rooted in their early childhood and teenage training.  Learning responsibility and accountability during the impressionable years is vital.  Taking on responsibility as a child, working in part time jobs as a teenager, having chores at home and being held accountable at home and in school all play a very important part in the development of a future responsible adult.  Developing a work ethic has its roots in the early years and is hard to develop if not ingrained in a person from their youth.  Having a good work ethic is a crucial quality to the success in all kinds of jobs.

The mistaken thoughts of “having it made and an easy path” as a business owner is prevalent in people who did not develop responsibility from an early age.  The sacrifices necessary for success in owning a business are numerous.  Business owners I interviewed all stated that demands on their time is a prevalent issue they have to deal with.

Vaughn stated, “As owners we are ultimately responsible for everything that goes on in the business, good and bad, ‘the buck stops here.’”

Jordan stated, “ There is no such thing as time off.  Vacation or days off are hard to schedule if you own your own business.”

It is a 24-hour per day commitment.  An advantage is: “You are more in control of your own potential profit with more opportunity to make more money in your own business as opposed to a set salary.  However, it is not always the dream job.”

Robbie Jackson, owner of Ross Jackson Plumbing agrees and said, “You are always at work, even if you are not physically there.  Customers expect a 24/7 availability and with access through cell phones, email, texting, etc.; you are always on call.”

Another requirement for successful businesses is “staying power.” It takes time for new businesses to get established and turn a profit.  Developing products and services, hiring a staff of competent people, building  a customer base and becoming a revenue generating, profitable business is not accomplished overnight.  Meeting challenges, providing good customer service and growing your business are the rewards of business ownership.


Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice-president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing