No man is an island. Nor is any business owner. The successful ones seek feedback, get advice, and learn from others. They’re passionate about what they want to do, but pragmatic, too.
This article is an extract taken from the Essential Business Guide.
Staying in business is about knowing what to do, how to do it, and exactly when to do it. And making sure that it gets done.
Here are five things to bear in mind as you work towards your business success:
1. More Haste, less speed
Get-rich-quick business opportunities are few and far between, if they exist at all. Many business owners begin by thinking that their business will grow quickly and be profitable as a result. But for the vast majority of businesses, the reality is that if you manage to stick to your budget and trade profitably year on year, you’re probably doing very well. It’s better to start slowly, learn and absorb as much as possible as you progress, and gradually get better at everything you are trying to do.
2. Look for customers, not success secrets
Many business owners get too hung up on finding the magic formula that will catapult them towards fame and fortune. the reality, of course, is that the most consistent secret to hard work, and being better than your competitors at finding loyal customers.
3. Be relentlessly obsessed with quality
You need to be confident that you have the best quality products, resources, suppliers, people, advice and so on available to you at all times. your customers certainly wont ever accept second best, so why should you? Never compromise on this.
4. Avoid spending too much(and sometimes too little)
Forecasting your budgets and cash flow may seem a bit like walking blindfolded on a tightrope. Spend more than you can afford at the wrong time and you could drain your cash too quickly and topple over. But spend enough on marketing, stock or getting basic IT systems in place and you could grind to a halt without having to do anything about it. Plan your budgets carefully and realistically with enough slack in your working capital to allow you to deal with the odd glitch that crops up along the way.
5. Admit what you dont know and get advice
There’s one thing that’s sure in business- you can’t possibly know everything or do everything yourself. Refusing to accept your own shortcomings can lead to all sorts of problems, especially if they’re financially related, and can be a critical factor in being able to stay in business. Ask for advice and help whenever you need it. Pay for it if necessary, as the short term cost of paying an accountant or other independent specialist business advisor will be a lot less than the cost of closing your business down.