The biggest problem founders and small business owners have is that they are experts in their field and novices in what it really takes to effectively run a business.
Don’t let that happen to you, just admit that you don’t know what you don’t know about business. Here are some tips from Makamba Online.
- Listen to your customers
It boggles my mind how little most entrepreneurs value their customers when, not only are their feedback and input among the most critical information they will ever learn, but their repeat business is the easiest business to get.
- Take care of your stars
This goes for every company, big and small. The cost of losing a star employee is enormous, yet business leaders rarely take the time to ensure their top performers are properly motivated, challenged, and compensated.
- Always have enough cash
Period. The most common business-failure mode, hands down, is running out of cash. If you know you have got a cash flow or liquidity problem coming up, fix it now.
- Learn to make decisions
The two most important words business owners and founders have at their disposal are “yes” and “no.” Learn to say them a lot. And that means being decisive. The most important reason to focus – to be clear on what your company does – is to be clear on all the things it doesn’t do.
- Play around with transparency
Transparency is as detrimental at some times as it is beneficial at others. There are times to share openly and times to zip it. You need to know when and with whom to do one versus the other. It comes with experience.
- Trust your instincts
Your own instincts are an extremely valuable decision-making tool. Too often we end up saying in retrospect and with regret, “Damn, I knew that was a bad idea.” But the key is to know how to access your instincts. Just sit, be quiet, and listen to yourself.
- Know your finances inside and out.
If you don’t know your revenues, expenses, capital requirements, profits (gross and net), debt, cash flow, and effective tax rate – among other things – you are asking for trouble. Big trouble.
Author: Gesture Chidhanguro