If you are considering starting your own business, or perhaps you have an existing business and are looking for some guidance as a manager, owner and/or operator, you have come to the right place. There is advice, both warranted and unsolicited everywhere you turn as a business owner, and it can get confusing and convoluted. Consider these simple and practical tips for owning and operating a business of any size and scope:
- Communication with Customers is two way street; even if you’re dying to sell product A and your marketing, vision and business align entirely with it, if your customers are after Product B, you will have wasted more time, money and resources not listening, and having to re-do it. Sometimes, the unfortunate reality is that what people want to buy isn’t exactly the same as what you want to sell.
- Cash is King; getting money, deposits, etc., upfront can help you ensure you have a liquid cash flow at any point during your business endeavour. Try and find creative, but legitimate, legal and ethical, ways to keep cash flowing.
- Low costs, Big Profit; this one is a basic principles of business, the lower your costs, the bigger your margins and profit. Sometimes, however, you have to find creative and insightful ways to lower some costs because other costs are mandatory, and there will always be the “you get what you pay for” items and services.
- Market, and then Market again; allocate the majority of your budget to marketing. Not just ads, but communication, pilot projects and innovation. Use tools that help you get ahead, gain and maintain market share and communicate and adapt to consumer preferences in real time. Use popular channels but creative methods. Invest in the marketing team, it will be worth it.
- Measure; Measure the progress of every aspect of your business. In order to do so, you will need to have the foresight to set and implement metrics that are realistic and measurable.