The 5 Ps of Proprietorship

By WBOM member, Rita Miller, CPA, Kruggel, Lawton & Company

I’ve worked with some amazing business owners and have found that they all practice what I summarize as “The 5 P’s of Proprietorship.”

1. Proficient-Successful business owners can man their own ship.  They know something about every duty that it takes to make the company run well.  They may not be able to complete every employee’s job from start to finish, but they can tell you quite a bit about the big picture of the jobs that their employees hold.

2. Positive– The best business owners maintain a positive outlook.  They come to work with a smile on the faces and they radiate a “can do “attitude.  This happy countenance helps the rest of the work force feel good about their jobs and the company.  It really makes a difference to start the day with a smile.

3. Personal– Owners that know something about each employee, and seek to inquire about employee goals, likes or family, are employers that create positive work environments.  I will never forget the day at my office when the retired owner stopped by, went straight to my shelf of family pictures, and said “I haven’t been updated on your family.  Please tell me about them.”  This gesture was so typical of this man, and remains part of the tradition of each partner since his retirement.  It made me feel very valued as an employee.

4. Practical-Employers who keep it real, keep their eyes focused on important items and retain a practical outlook are successful because they have their feet planted on the ground.  They realize the office doesn’t need a new coat of paint every year, or company cars don’t have to be luxury vehicles (the IRS doesn’t like the luxury vehicles either!), to make a successful business venture.  Focus on what is important and your employees will follow your lead.

5. Punctual-Great employers value their time and your time.  They don’t keep you waiting and they are prompt to respond to issues.  No one feels second rate and no issue goes unresolved.

One of the nice things I gain from working with a wide variety of clients is the opportunity to learn from them. The five items listed above have certainly helped me in my career.  I hope they  inspire you too!

Rita Miller is a board member of WBOM and a manager with Kruggel, Lawton & Company, a public accounting firm in South Bend, IN that offers tax and other accounting services.  For more information regarding tax tips, contact Rita or visit


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