Check your elevator pitch. As a small-business owner, if you can't sum up your business in about two minutes, stating concisely what you do and why your business exists, you might have problems.
"You need to be able to articulate very clearly, and in what I call a very compelling manner, what you offer, why it is of benefit and why it is different from what is out there. If you can do that, you probably understand what you are doing," says Fred Glave, a Washington, D.C.-based counselor with SCORE, a free consulting service to small-business owners and entrepreneurs.
When small-business owners don't understand what they're doing, why they're doing it and how they differentiate their businesses from everyone else, it can be difficult to keep the business going when times get tough.
When things are going well, it can be too easy to lose sight of what is working if the person in charge doesn't understand what's driving his or her success.
Whether it's great service, reliability or a unique product that works, knowing the business backward and forward will help owners grow and sustain the business in good times and bad.