Right if you got through my Have you got a good business idea post, then you must now be ready to find out my “5 Don’t forgets about business”.
1. Don’t forget that you are a business owner not an ‘entrepreneur’
A lot of people I come across just want to be an ‘entrepreneur’ (look out for my post on what is an entrepreneur). If you’re starting a business to be an ‘entrepreneur’ then you probably don’t need to read on until I write my entrepreneur post. People see shows like the Apprentice, read the likes of Lord Alan Sugar or Sir Richard Branson and think that being an ‘entrepreneur’ is sexy and the fast track to instant or eventual riches – WRONG.
Run a business, it might be dirty, it might be all about systems, it might have long hours – the sexy/entrepreneur part will come later if you run your business first.
2. Don’t forget that running a business is about making and sustaining a profit
So many business owners get trapped in the day to day operations of the business and forget that business is not about providing the most efficient/glamorous service ever; it’s actually about making a profit. The famous stockbroker Warren Buffett says it best “Buy low, sell high”. The business translation of this is keep costs low and income high.
At least once a week/month summaries where you are at financially, how much money have you spent and how much can you expect to achieve. Spend time working on the business and not in the business.
3. Don’t forget to harness the power of friends/family/networks…… Google effectively
Sometimes people underestimate the power/knowledge held within their group of friends and/or their family. If you can’t find the right person from those close to you try your networks ……. Failing that then Google is free.
Don’t be ashamed to talk to your friends/family and your networks about the great things your are doing or the problems you are having – you never know what resources they have until you ask.
4. Don’t forget that you are in business to sell your business
This will be a shock to some people, but you are only truly an entrepreneur if your ambition is to sell and start another business. Your legacy is only confirmed when you sale your business. From day one of business you should have the mentality of trying to make your business as ‘saleable’ as possible. This means having clear systems in place that a dummy could follow. Think of McDonalds. Create value in your business can you find a cheaper way to do something, can you obtain exclusivity, is their some intellectual property?
Make sure that your business is always attractive to a potential investor. Keep good records and create real value within your business.
5. Don’t forget you are always one step away from failure
No matter how successful you are or how easy things seem to be remember you will only be one mistake/oversight away from failing. Some business owners assume that growth is good, you can grow too fast. Some business owners assume that next deal is always going to happen, but if it doesn’t they loose it all. Business owners can be cash rich on Friday but financially ruined by Monday.
Keep a detailed understanding of your business through good times and bad, in business usually surprises are bad but they can be avoided.