Well, I said, "Do you have goals that you work toward with deadlines?" Of course they do. That was really the basis of their projects. One colleague is in the real estate industry. Every house for sale is a project. The other is an account manager. Each account has several projects.
It was interesting to talk about how project management principles apply across industries - and no matter the size of the business. Because I am a business owner myself, I knew my friends deal with budgets and schedules. They certainly consider risks. And communications is a huge part of their projects. Procurement also figured in there, as did staffing.
Another thing we discussed was our businesses’ visions and strategies. This reminded me of how projects should fit in with the organization’s vision and strategy, no matter the size of the business. I know that a few times I've gone off course from my selected vision and strategy - not a recommended practice.
So, are small business owners also project managers? Of course! It’s practically a way of life.