1) Take time to work on your business.
It is easy to get so busy in your business that you don’t take time to sit back and consider what you are actually doing. A lot of people get comfort from being busy, but it need not be a good sign for the business.
Not stepping back to work on your business is like rowing your boat without ever looking up to see that you are going in the right direction!
You need to step back and consider questions like: a) Are there more efficient ways of doing what we are doing b) What is happening in the market? Is the market shifting and do we need to change? c) Are there new opportunities? d) What is customer feedback telling us?
If you continually allow yourself to be busy in the business and never step out of it to take a look, you at the very least run the risk of missing opportunities and at worse, risk running aground.
The biggest challenge to taking the time to work on your business is probably you! You, continually coming up with excuses of being too busy. Ultimately it will be you that pays the price, if you don’t, so quit the excuses and take time to work on your business!
2) Cash flow is king!
If you don’t have the money to pay your bills, then you won’t have a business! If you don’t understand the difference between profit and cash flow, then you need to figure it out fast. Many a profitable business has gone under because the owner didn’t understand the difference and spent the profits (and some) on various things, not leaving enough money to pay bills (especially things like income tax and sales tax).
3) Surround yourself with the best people you can find.
Staff can quite literally make or break a business. Problematic staff can not only waste a lot of your time and money, but they can also erode the culture of the business and ultimately take it down.
Conversely great staff, help solve problems, share the workload, make it more enjoyable to come to work and build a great culture.
Don’t be scared to surround yourself with people that know more, or different things to you. If you don’t then you are missing a chance to help grow your business.
With great staff you can conquer so much, but with problematic staff, you are in for a lot of hurt in so many ways.
4) Be flexible.
Things can change, so as a business owner you need to be prepared to change when required. If you are regimented in your approach and unwilling to change, this is likely to be detrimental to your business.
Change need not be massive; it could be incremental over time. Sometimes, it only takes a small change to make a massive difference to your business. If you are not happy with your business, then don’t keep doing the same things out of habit, time to change it up. Equally be warned, just because things are going well does not mean you shouldn’t change anything. You only need to look at technological changes to know that change is ever present. You might be okay today, but if you don’t evolve, you might suddenly find yourself one day out of step and your business suffers (look no further than Kodak and Blackberry for examples).
Don’t change for change’s sake but be flexible and willing to change as required.
5) Find your passion.
The value of this can often be underestimated. If you are doing something just for the sake of it, or doing it for the money, then your ability to overcome obstacles will be compromised. If you are passionate about something, that gives you so much more motivation to overcome anything and succeed. You will feel so much more joy, if you are following your passion.
There is a caveat with finding your passion. Not all passions make good businesses, so don’t try and force your passion into being a business! People often have more than one passion so maybe your business is not your number one passion, but the point is to do something that you enjoy and care about, as it will make dealing with challenges that much easier to deal with!
It is not easy running a business, but if you follow these 5 key tips, you will be well on your way to success!
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