What does it take to grow a business and run it successfully?
The main ingredient is attention to the basics, operating with integrity and following the way other successful people have run their operations.
Here are 42 greatest business tips for you to follow:
Advisers - Make sure you talk to other successful people who have already done it. There is no sense in reinventing the wheel and learning by trial and error if you don't need to. Discuss it also with your family, especially your spouse. It's best to get their backing and support because you will need it.
Costs - Watch your spending. It's very easy for business costs to "run right into the stratosphere". Even when you start to make money keep an eye on your costs.
Capital - Don't start a business unless you have enough money saved up. You need to have enough to start up your business and to run your operation for a 6 month period (at least) until the business starts generating enough income to "fend for itself" and grow. Under-capitalisation by small businesses is one of the biggest causes of failure.
Use others - Know your strengths and weaknesses and fill in the gaps with people (such as your advisers or experienced employees) who have expertise in the areas you don't.
Court - Try and settle out of court if you can. Whatever your dispute going to court will cost you thousands of dollars for your lawyers as well as a huge amount of stress and heartache let alone loss of time and productivity. Avoid any type of court action if you can. Use negotiation, mediation or arbitration rather than litigation.
Next level - Don't depend on your friends and family. They can help you at the start, but they are not usually the people to get you on to the next level because of their lack of experience and skills.
Drawings - Try not to draw too much money out for yourself from the business at the beginning. If you take too much pay from your new venture it could impact on your cash reserves and leave the business with cash flow problems. Take out of the business the minimum that you need.
Realistic - Keep your feet on the ground. Don't chase blue-sky potential. Be realistic in all you do. Don't show off. Use your head at all times.
Good Products - Make sure you have good products and services. You can't have a business unless you are selling something that buyers want.There is no point going into the marketplace if your products and services are not up to scratch as far as quality or function is concerned. There are many competitors out there and it is tough to win, let alone survive.
Cash Flow - Watch your cash flow every day. Monitor the cash that comes in and that goes out. Your cash is essential. Once that's gone - you're gone.
Enjoy - Make sure you enjoy the business you are in. If you enjoy what you are doing, you will do it a lot better and a lot faster. It has to be something worth getting out of bed for.
Motivation - Because you no longer have to account to anyone but yourself, you must be self-motivated. Get out of bed early every day just as if you had to beat the traffic to work.
Determination - Unless you are serious and determined to succeed in your business you will find that little will be achieved. Be "dogged" determined and persevere.
Confidence - Be confident in your own abilities. If you have confidence in your ideas and skills there is no reason why you cannot succeed, even alongside the big operators. Get ongoing help, if you can, from a successful business friend and your confidence will grow.
Focus - Be focused. Don't be distracted. Keep your eye on the ball.
Over-deliver - Always under-promise and over-deliver. There's something about doing more for customers than what you had originally promised. It gives your business and you a good name and reputation.
Honesty - Keep your integrity. Don't do what many others do that involve cutting corners. Don't hide behind legal agreements. If it's yes then say YES, If it's no then say NO. Make sure your word is your bond. Keep honest and open. Nothing gives you a better nights sleep.
Customers - Focus on your customers. Looking after your customers and pleasing them should be your number one priority. Without customers you've got no business.
Skills - Make sure you possess the necessary skills to be able to carry out the type of business that you are contemplating or currently in.
Experience - Even though it is not critical, possessing a little experience in accounting or business or finance will be a great help.
Work - Work Hard. You will need to put in a few more hours at the beginning and for the first year or two. Tell your family and friends about this so they will understand and help you wherever possible.
Pay your bills - Always pay your bills on time. Get a good name for it. Be faithful in this area and your suppliers will be able to trust you when you need more credit at certain times.
Discount - If you pay early ask for a discount. In fact always ask for a discount when you buy anything. Most will give you a discount for cash. Discounts add up. No one pays the full retail price nowadays anyway.
Tax - There are many things you can do to minimise your tax. See a good tax specialist if your accountant doesn't specialise in this area. Never delay your tax payments because penalties from the tax department can be pretty heavy.
Records - Make sure your records are absolutely fantastic. Keep all your communication and emails. Keep every receipt. Take a copy of all documents. Lose nothing. They will "save your bacon" one day when you have a court case and you just happen to have a copy of that important piece of paper in your files.
Hours - Keep to proper hours. If you burn the midnight oil everyone looses out. Your family, your friends, your kids and you. You will not be rested so your performance will suffer the next day.
Learn - Get to know a little about business and the principles of finance, sales and profit. Read as much as you can on these subjects. Attend courses. Go to seminars. Learn and learn and learn. You cannot learn enough about business.
Staff - Take your time in picking good staff. They will be the biggest asset in your business. Promote only to character. Character is never wrong. Dismiss those who do not work as they will not produce. Reward those who deserve it. Treat staff fairly.
Golden Rule - Keep to the golden rule "Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you" - that never fails. And keep a smile on your face. It brightens everyone's day.
Accountant - Get a good accountant. Someone who knows "their stuff". They must be prepared to "fight" for you if necessary. They must be able to give you attention. They must not be afraid of the Tax Department. Get someone who specialises in small business. Make sure you can get along - that's critical.
Lawyer - Ditto as for Accountant plus they must be aggressive and be able to think on their feet. They must hate to lose. Get someone who can talk in plain language - not in legalese. They have to know all the tricks - legally. And they must be organised and sharp.
Partners - Be very careful about who you bring in as partners or shareholders. The wrong people will ruin you. They will betray you and try to take your business from you. Keep control of all situations at all times. Make sure you are the Governing Director in your company and draft a Constitution in your favour before these people come in. Retain majority shareholding and keep directorship within your family or trusted associates. Make no one a director or partner unless they are totally loyal to you.
Spouse - Don't leave your spouse or partner out of things. Men need to know that their wives have a special ability to see the details which they often miss. Woman's intuition? It's there and it works. Ladies, your man is great at seeing the big picture. Best working as a team.
Passion - Be passionate about what you do. You have God-given abilities and they'll show through in your passion. Keep your passion. When nothing else gets you through, passion will.
Live - Make sure you make a life and not just a living. Having a business should be long-term. It should be the investment for your retirement and an inheritance for your children and grandchildren. It has to be something that creates a life for you, not just a living.
Stress - Watch out for worry and stress. Keep a calm attitude. Try being laid back. Learn how to relax. Take care of yourself. If the business loses you it loses its most valuable asset. Tomorrow's another day remember.
Goals - Don't ever forget why you went into business in the first place. Now and then check up on yourself. What were your original goals? Are you still on track? Do your goals still excite you? If business no longer does it for you then it may be time for a change.
Health - Keep yourself healthy and fit. Lose weight if you need to. Work in an early walk or gym session daily. Don't diet but develop better eating habits and lifestyle. Shortcuts don't work. Get to bed before 10 so you can get in at least 7-8 hrs sleep. Make changes that would be with you forever. "There's no change if there's no change".
Rise Early - Start the day early. Get up before dawn while the family are still asleep. Wash your face, grab a "cuppa" and enjoy the morning. Have a quiet time for yourself and reflect on things. Be thankful for the new day. Rising early helps you to take control. Your mind is clear in the morning. Before 6 am is good. There's something about getting up early.
Joy - Keep happy inside. Go with the proverb "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine".
Family - Don't lose your family in your effort to get ahead. When you have become a millionaire it's not your money that will bring you happiness - it will be your family. Keep close to your kids. Be their rock. They need a secure hideout. Be the one person they know will always stand for them when no one else will give them a prayer. Love and respect your wife (or husband or partner) above all others. He or she is your greatest business ally. Value your family. Make sure they are there for you when you've reached the top by making sure you are there for them during your climb. Remember, No Business is worth it.
Never Quit - If you fall or have fallen get up again. Don't stay down. Bounce back. Look up. "Two men looked out of prison bars - one saw mud the other saw stars". It depends where you look, up or down. No matter what you have gone through there will always be hope. Without hope life is hopeless. Never give up - ever.
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