The 10 items below will dictate what level of success you and your business will reach regardless of the type of business you operate.
- Know the #’s:
In order to consistently make smart financial decisions, a business owner must understand the company’s profit and loss, balance sheet, product cost, cash flow, payroll, and other financial data. Also, as much as an owner may want to turn this task over to an employee or other advisor, they should never lose track of money going into and out of the bank accounts.
- Understand everyone’s job:
Cross-training ensures the ability to have someone cover a critical function if someone is out sick, quits, or needs to be let go. Never let an employee’s inability to work impact the business’s ability to take care of its customers.
- Be open to change:
A great business evolves over time. New products, procedures, and technology are constantly changing how business is done. The quicker a business can adapt to these changes the more successful that business will be.
- Know what your value proposition is:
Know what makes the business different and/or better than the competition and be able to convey this to the employees and customers. Knowing who benefits most from the product /service helps a business effectively target it’s marking efforts.
- Know how to find and retain customers:
Sales are everything. An owner needs to either be great at advertising/marketing or needs to find someone who is. A marketing plan needs to be tracked and monitored to ensure that the money and time being spent are creating a positive rate of return.
- Be an expert in retaining key employees:
Many quality businesses were started by a former employee. They leave because they want more money and think they can do it better. Because of their knowledge of how the business operates and who the clients are, they can disrupt the company’s ability to grow and even profit.
- Be an expert in finding and hiring the right employees and getting rid of the wrong ones:
It has become harder to find quality people to hire and the business owner that creates the best process for the right people has an extreme advantage over their competition. A great employee can make an average business great just like the wrong employee can make a good business below average. Know the personality type and hire the people that will fit in best with the rest of the team.
- Have a back-up plan:
Identify the things that could significantly impact the ability to conduct business and create and monitor a plan to mitigate these negative situations. When there are industry or economic challenges, the business that has a tested plan and that was able to save resources and money while things were good will be in a much better position to survive and thrive when there are major disruptions.
- Never stop striving to make the business and its employees better:
In order to be great, a business owner must constantly strive to be better. Just like any great sports team, “perfect” practice makes perfect. In today’s technology-driven world, there is no shortage of online resources, education, and training materials for the business owner and their employees to take advantage of.
- Have an exit plan:
Even if a business can continue for many years/generations, the business owner cannot. In order to keep an eye on the finish line, a business owner must be able to identify who, how, and when a business will be sold or transferred to the next generation. Also, what can be done to put the business and the employee in the best position to be able to be profitable for years to come.