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Last week I discussed five of the fifteen useful business insights and lessons I learned while I ran the largest of the companies I’ve owned. This week I have five more lessons to share.
Creating a job for yourself Vs. creating a business
A business or organization is characterized by the following attributes. It solves a problem for the consumer. It has systems and processes by which it operates. It has employees who work in and assist with the running of the business. It has a strong leader. It pays its bills including payroll, owner’s draw and vendor payments and still has a profit of some level. If you are creating a job for yourself, you are the person in charge of the bulk of the work (80%). You solve a problem for the consumer and you generally get paid for showing up to actually solve that problem for the consumer personally (i.e. you fix their computer, you write a press release for them, you plan an event for them, you sell something, etc.) If you don’t show up to your business, the business will not operate. There is nothing wrong with one or the other, but having that defined is important.
Bigger isn’t always better
In our more is better consumerist societies we always equate more to being superior. If you have four really nice pairs of jeans having a fifth pair is even better. If you have a newer car, having the newest version of the car is better. If you have a 1,200 square foot house, having a 3,600 square foot house is better. If you have 2 employees having 10 is better. If you sell two different services, selling 10 is better. It’s just not always the case. Having more will cost more and if you aren’t really on top of your numbers hiring more people, producing more products and just in general doing more isn’t always better. Know when to hire and when to move into that new building. Know when to add on to your product or service offerings. My recommendations is to look at cash flow. If you hire a new person will the company really make more money or even enough to cover the cost of that hire.
Marketing is key to success in business
Your customers have to know who you are or they aren’t going to buy from you. If you’ve not done a S.W.O.T. analysis on your business now is the time. S.W.O.T. means strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Use this information to form a strong marketing strategy.
Know when a partner is a help in your business
When they are a crutch and when they are detracting from your company. I’ve had the pleasure to work with some of the most phenomenal partners two of which are my husband and best friend. However, don’t rely on someone else to “help” you grow your business. Find the strength within yourself to be the best you can be. Know too when having a partner will not hinder the business but double or quadruple your value as an organization. Be very selective when choosing a partner. Make sure that your life values are in line. If you have very different values in life you aren’t going to succeed with them as a partner.
Have crystal clear goals and a vision
Have crystal clear goals and a vision for your company. Know what you are doing, how you’re going to do it when you’re going to complete this goal and how much it will produce. Having goals is imperative to your success.