How small is small? (After all, size isn't everything)
By: Marsha Collier
National Small Business week? I’m so glad we got our own holiday! The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a small business as one having less than 500 employees. Small, really? I’ve run a small business for over 20 years and personally find having lots of employees doesn’t suit my style. Lots of folks get their business going and can’t wait until they expand, hire lots of employees and hit the big time… and that’s great! But I enjoy working with a small intimate group.
Photo taken by Kenneth Yeung
Very few people get to truly understand the joys of being a very small business. You have the chance to run it by yourself, get help from family or hire employees. It’s all up to you. I started small – and chose to stay that way. I enjoy the flexibility of the hours I spend on my workday. I often work seven days a week, and also work at very odd hours. I fit my eBay business into my life.
If you make mistakes, buy the wrong products or price something badly, it’s your responsibility. You get the chance to learn from your own mistakes.
Depending on the point in my life, I decided how hard or how much I wanted to work on my online enterprise. I’ve hired employees, but I most enjoy working in a family setting. Before my daughter graduated from college, she would help me with my business. We’d go out together finding products, shipping items and working out pricing and profit margins. Had I been in my eBay business when she was little, I might have balanced a bit more between child care and school.
I speak to hundreds of eBay sellers every year, and when I ask them what they see for the future of their business, I almost always get the same reply. When the children grow up and they are left to their own needs and devices, almost everyone sees a retirement selling online. The best part of this is it is so totally doable!
Using social media expands the market for your items, and also allows you to bring together an online group of friends that encourages you in your business. There’s always someone to talk to, and someone to sell your items to.
I’m never going to give up my eBay business, and frankly can’t understand when someone tells me it’s too much work or too complex. Once you’ve got it down, you can have an income for life. An income will be based on just how hard you want to work. I love the idea.
Marsha Collier ran her own retail marketing business for 15 years, The Collier Company, and her eBay store is Marsha Collier’s Fabulous Finds. With over 1 million copies of her books in print, she is the top selling eBay author. Among her books, eBay For Dummies is the best selling book for eBay beginners. You can find her on Twitter @MarshaCollier. Marsha is also a certified eBay Ink Social Media Seller.