We have all seen the lists of business tips out there that are sound in theory, but often difficult to put into action. Not to diminish their importance, but rather to provide you with some that are easier to implement and give you a lot of “bang for the buck”, we have compiled an abbreviated list of practical advice below based on years of experience with an attractive diversity of businesses, that are applicable to all.
The most successful business owners:
- Rely on systems, rather than just relying on people:If you grow a business but it is only great because it’s got some exceptional people, what happens when they leave, or when you need more of them? Process documents can help your business to run smoothly regardless of who it employs.
- Hire attitude and teach function: When you are looking for a new team member, an enthusiastic, positive attitude is, quite often, much more important than job experience. You can teach people how to do the work. You cannot necessarily teach attitude.
- Do not try to do everything:We should all be paying attention to the Economics of Specialty – That is to say, in essence, that it is easier and more productive and of greater value to focus your time on what you are really good at. This is why successful business owners outsource, or refer customers on, for things which they cannot do superbly.
- Always see each customer as a potential lifetime purchaser:They do not focus on today’s transaction alone.
Successful people …
- Map out and measure: Using simple tools, such as straightforward spreadsheets, can tell how well every key system in your business is performing.
- Analyze past financial performance to understand the trends and key changes in the business: Learning from the mistakes and successes of the past can allow you to enhance the performance of your business today and in the future. Looking to trends can help you develop or refine your next strategy.
- Share the results of their performance with their team:Holding a monthly board meeting or team meeting is a good way to do this. You can then devise the actions necessary to improve performance further.
- Plan their escape or exit strategy:They know that if the business depends on them being there and working in it, they are holding back its growth potential – and no one will want to buy it when it’s time to sell or retire.
When it comes to money:
- Don’t change banks just to save a bit on their charges: When you find a good bank manager, you should build a relationship and stay with it. Try to be open and honest with them, and work as a team.
- Take a firm stance on customer credit from day one: A customer who does not pay can be worse than no customer. With some exceptions, once you let them get away with a late payment, they will often continue along that path. Generally speaking, nip it in the bud from day one. After all, too much cash tied up in unpaid invoices can lead to cash flow problems, a leading cause of business failure.
- Invest in growth. A small business that wants to continue to grow, innovate and attract the best employees [should] demonstrate that they are willing to invest in the future.
- Monitor your books. Do your best to set aside time each day or month to review and monitor your books, even if you are working with a bookkeeper. It will allow you to become more familiar with the finances of your business and provides you with a window into potential financial crime. Do not neglect bank reconciliations either and spend some time each month on reviewing outstanding invoices. Failure to do this, especially if a bookkeeper is involved, opens the business to wasteful spending or even embezzlement.
Lastly, knowing that an astonishing 96% of businesses fail over a 10-year time-period (sobering, isn’t it?), some of the most important business tips for any entrepreneur to focus on also come down to using innovation, marketing, differentiation, drive, leveraging and fearlessness to set yourself apart from the competition. At Titan Business Development Group, we strive to empower you with the tools and know-how to crush the competition and build a business that provides stability, value, and purpose. Reach out to us to learn how we can help you and your business become a Titan – one of prodigious size, strength, or achievement.