5 Tips for Running a Successful Business

December 5, 2016
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Hand and falling money isolated on white background

When it comes to running a small business, there is no shortage of advice on everything from soup to nuts.  Even so, here are five things that business owners should at least consider if they want to have not just a business that gets by, but one that is wildly successful.

Sell what the customer wants.  Not just what you want to sell.  Sounds simple enough, right?  However, there are countless examples of companies that have done the opposite and failed.  No matter how amazing your app, or cool your product, or innovative your service is to you, make sure others find it of value too.  If not, keep honing your ideas until you find something people whose opinions you trust are telling you they would pay for.

Be passionate.  Just because you need to offer something people are willing to buy, doesn’t mean your business is boring or something to phone in.  If you don’t have passion for your product or service, no one else will either.  Your drive, perseverance, and positivity about what you have to offer will be infectious and help you drive your company to success.  And will inspire your employees too!

But also be a pessimist.  Sometimes it’s ok to look at things with a bit of a negative bent.  And when you are making plans for your business, it’s the perfect time.  If you overestimate your expenses and underestimate your revenue, you will not be caught flatfooted when you reconcile your books.  It is almost unheard of for new businesses to keep to the initial plans so take the pessimistic view and you may be pleasantly surprised instead of wringing your hands.

Remember that cash is king.  Cash flow is a key component in any business.  Make sure you have a handle on the day-to-day expenditures and income.  It is very easy to lose track of finances when you’re focused on growing your business through increasing sales.  After all, who wants to spend their time going over the books when there is business to conduct?  Accountants do, that’s who!  So if you don’t have the time or desire to do the hands-on bookkeeping, but don’t want to hire a full time bookkeeper, consider outsourcing the task to an accounting company.  Having a professional to handle the numbers not only takes it off your plate, but the expertise will come in handy when tax time rolls around or if you are ready to apply for business loans.  Your books will be organized and up to date, making both taxes and financing applications a much less stressful process.

And finally, take care of what’s really important.  And what is that, you ask?  You.  Plain and simple, if you don’t take care of you, no one else will.  And if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you love and nurture those close to you?  Keep in mind that no matter how important your business is to you, your health and well being and that of your loved ones, needs to be number one.  Sleep enough, eat well, and stretch those legs once in a while.  Live, love, laugh—even if only in small doses each day—and your business will be the better for it.  When you are rested and healthy with a positive outlook, your company benefits and will thrive.  And so will you.

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