Through clients, teaching and advisory groups, we get to deal with many small businesses. We witness first hand what makes one successful and the other not. Here are just a few observations from this year. Please add your comments and observations.
- focus on sales first. No money coming in, no business.
- make sure that the sales generate good profitable income and continually examine return on time invested (ROTI)
- create a business â€œsystemâ€? and strive to work â€œonâ€? the business rather than â€œinâ€? the business
- plan, measure, then adjust
- monitor and manage cash flow
- donâ€™t take failure personally, they just learn and change
- focus on what they want, then figure out the â€œhowâ€? to get there. They are not deterred by obstacles
- are clear as to whom they are selling to and create effective targeted campaigns
- outsource what they are not competent in. Instead they focus on what they are good at, resulting in greater ROTI.
- if they are a service business, are realistic about their billable hours. They increase ROTI by selling complimentary products that donâ€™t require selling their time
- have competent experienced advisers and listen to their advice. They know that sometimes they are blind to the obvious and come at everything with an open mind
- are continuously on the lookout for new opportunities
- are not afraid to make changes or quickly let go of things that arenâ€™t working
- know their money is in the effective delivery of their product/service and know when to â€œstay the courseâ€? until they reach a point of diminishing returns
- love what they do, are competent, knowledgeable and their confidence shows.
- know that running a business involves many roles and are not afraid to seek advice and help.
What are your observations?