How often do you listen to a podcast or read a business blog and think, “That’s great but what does that mean for me?” The truth is, every business is different, but there are some universal, real-world tips for running your business smarter and better.
To some, having a business model, marketing plan, vision, mission and strategy is a waste of time. To real businesses, these are absolutely critical to having a well-run business that is scalable, i.e. doesn’t require you to make every decision. So if you don’t have these fundamentals, take the time now to hash it out with your team. And if you’re not sure how check out our How to Run Your Business program to get on the right path to a real business.
The Right Team
You’re only as good as your team. Hire quality. If you have the cash, hire the best. If you don’t, hire the intrinsically motivated. People who are intrinsically motivated naturally seek to do their best every day, without you pushing them. If you’ve hired right, they’ll push you! And with the right fundamentals, their best will be the best for the company.
We know. Your business is your baby. You put your blood, sweat and tears into it. We know. But if you want a real business, you have to let go and start leading. Leading means you delegate tasks to your trusted team, see above. Leading your business means you accept that people will do things differently than you would, but as long as they meet the requirements of the project, it’s a success. Letting go is hard, but like any baby, your business is growing up and you need to let it mature.
Stay Focused on the Fundamentals
Cash is king in business. Without it, you shut down. Period! So if there’s one place you do stay involved, it’s in the books. Small businesses lose millions due to dishonesty or incompetence. So follow the mantra, “trust but verify” and actively go through your books every week. Don’t know what it all means? Don’t be afraid to ask, or risk regretting it later. Or get some training so you know the ins and outs of your business. Don’t ever find yourself saying, “I should have paid more attention.”
Invest in the Future
A good cost structure will allow you to start making long-term investments that will either enhance your revenue or reduce your overall costs. If you’re looking at investing in revenue enhancing capabilities, make sure you have the team to support it. Investing in a new Groupon campaign that increases your business by 500% is for nothing if you don’t have the capabilities to deliver quality services that promote recurring purchase, and doesn’t overburden your loyal employees.
Real businesses build off core principles, starting with the fundamentals, a strong team, a close attention to cash and investing in the future. These are the balls you don’t take your eyes off of when running your small business.