Thinking about the quote below reminds me of a question that has been on my mind for weeks. How does one build a great company? How do you move from startup to a running a great business? Can one actually build a successful business with limited budget? This has led me to dig into what I have called 10 Commandments for Small Business Owners. So, if you own and manage a business at the moment or are thinking of starting one soon, read on. You can always come back to this anything. So, I will suggest that you bookmark this URL as these tips will come handy in your journey.
Champions focus on where they are going to. The only man who never makes mistake is a man who never tries anything.
You may think why do I have to bother about this since I don’t plan to start a business. Even if you don’t have plans to start a business, you will find these tips very useful in your chosen career. The best gift you can give yourself after reading this is to make up your mind to apply every single tip or advice. Remember, whether you or your business will succeed or not depends on you.
Destiny is a matter of choice. It is something to achieve, not something to wait for.
Commandment 1 – Pick and remain focused on a Business you understand
Don’t just go into a business because it is the most convenient business to start. It doesn’t matter if your close friend is running similar business. Only venture out into that business if you have the basic knowledge required.
Commandment 2 – Thoroughly Understand your Market
Don’t go into a business because you feel it is a nice thing to do. You must be sure that you understand your business environment. You need to be convinced that there is an existing market opportunity and especially that people will be willing to pay for your service or product. Never go into business because your friends are doing the same business. Even if it means you have to understudy someone for some time, you will be glad you did.
Commandment 3 – Hire Professional Managers
You might be the CEO, CFO, Sales Director, Chief Security Officer or Driver now but that will change soon. When it gets to the time to bring other people on-board, go for the best. Don’t hire someone because it will save you cost, rather bring someone on board because they will add value to your business.
Commandment 4 – Put in place strong Financial and Administrative control
This is one of my favorites commandments for small business owners. Whether you are in business or not, my advice is always simple: spend less than you earn and keep a money diary. If you are the CEO, place yourself on salary and make sure you don’t take more than the pre-determined amount every month.
Commandment 5 – Constantly research the market to confirm the continue relevance of your service/products:
Things change fast in every market. Have you noticed that most OEMs now release new version of their devices within six months of the last edition? This is exactly why you need to be on top of happenings in your industry and country. Many years ago, films used to be the main things when it comes to photography but that has changed now. People now carry around digital cameras and smartphones with powerful camera. So, there is no need for films again. If you were playing in the industry, you would be out of business now if you didn’t change with trends.
Commandment 6 – Do not spend too much money on office space and self-serving activity
Break loose from I “have arrived” mentality. If you know you can’t afford an office space, continue to operate from your home. Many successful businesses operated like this for some years and most people can’t even remember this again. The Covid-19 situation has even changed the way businesses will be conducted forever. Invest in setting up a home office.
Also, don’t compete with your staff. The fact that you staff is driving a BMW doesn’t mean you should drive one too. If you can’t afford a car yet, don’t worry. Keep working on your business. Remember, your staff has certificates and can always get another job. But you have to keep the business moving since it is what you have decided to do.
Commandment 7 – Have a business strategy plan and constantly review it
As a business owner, you need to have your business plan in a place you can see it always. So, always review your plan. Identify things that work out based on your plan. Pick the lesson and apply it again.
Commandment 8 – Keep proper and complete record of all transactions
This is especially important in the areas of finance. If you just wake up from a sleep and you are asked about your financial transactions, you should be able to come up with this within few minutes.
Commandment 9 – Make sure that there is a job description for every position and match with income-earned.
This ensures that you hire and keep the right person. The job description (JD) should always reflect the need in your business. And should be based on your strategic business plan.
Commandment 10 – Set performance milestones and standards against which progress can be measured
How do you determine if your business is on the right tracks if there are no performance measures? If you are in sales business, you need to have, for instance, an idea of how many sales you intend to make in a year. This can then be broken down into monthly targets.
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Editor’s note: This post first appeared as 10 Commandments for SMEs.
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