How do you manage a business that you have just opened? The answer to the question “how to run a business?” is unlikely to exist. Or rather, there is, but it will either be a very superficial answer or ambiguous and not applicable in different areas of business.
You have to understand how to run a business properly by actually doing business based on one’s own experience, rather than by deciding based on some truths and rules. Although strategic definitions and adherence to certain general business principles are, of course, necessary.
The only thing your business can’t survive without is customers. Without everything else – it will be hard, but there is a chance. Without customers, there is no chance for business. This, of course, is self-explanatory, but it must be emphasized.
So, if right now it was necessary to say, how to do business properly, many would say – so that there would be more customers. Of course, that’s not the answer. The point is that this is your main activity. If the numbers, you can say that: 50% of the time you as a business owner should spend on working with clients. And the other 50% of your time should be spent on everything else. Keep this in mind when you’re writing your business plan.
There is one nuance here. First, it doesn’t mean you have to do it. You will, of course, delegate some tasks to employees or give them to freelancers, because that’s more efficient. But you will plan, set directions, formulate tasks – and let most of them relate to working with clients. Because clients are not only about attracting new ones, but also about retaining existing ones. Because it’s much harder to get lost clients back than it is to keep them.
It is very important to work competently and correctly with employees, with partners, and with yourself. But working with clients is paramount. With all clients – I’ll say it again. You have to constantly think up and try new means of attracting new clients and at the same time find ways to retain existing ones.
So, sales, sales, sales. You have customers, but if you don’t sell to them, they’re not customers, but let’s say, acquaintances. Right, right? So once again turning to numbers, let’s say that out of the other 50% of the time (50% you spent with clients), 40% are spent on building sales channels and sales. Again, it’s better not personally, but by creating the conditions and principles of doing business with a focus on these two main components.
Customers and sales are your main goal. Everything else is 10%. That said, you have to be quite serious about everything else, of course. Business does not tolerate slackness. But priorities are priorities. When you have a lot of customers, and when you sell to them a lot, it will be easy to do all the other tasks, you’ll agree. But at least it’s easier than if there were no sales and no clients.
Goal – Objectives – Plan
It works, believe me. You set a goal, break it down into individual tasks and smaller goals, write out a plan for accomplishing them – and do it. To move forward, you need a benchmark – so you can always see where you are now. This will add to your motivation.
You have to work on your business, not on it. You are an entrepreneur, not an employee (albeit in your business). You have to plan, strategize, organize the business, and lead your team. It’s understandable that at the beginning of your own business you often have to do a lot personally but nevertheless it’s something to strive for.
You don’t need a fancy office and a cool chair. Don’t have receptionists and secretaries. Do business more modestly. At least at first. If you have extra money, you already know where to invest it: customers and sales, remember? Create paystubs with pay stub templates to understand where you have to reduce costs and where on the contrary you can invest.
Don’t be “friends” with your employees. That’s not good. You can be fair, generous, honest – but not friends. At least stay on the “You” side. An even worse option is to make friends as employees.
Always know where you’re going. Determine for yourself the main direction and bend your line. Remember, your employees should also be aware of what the firm is aiming for. That way your business is more sustainable.
If you’re not willing to truly take responsibility and are always looking for who’s to blame, not realizing that it’s YOUR risk, then don’t do business at all.
Business is profit. If your business is unprofitable, close it down. That’s all.
Important advice for beginners
Don’t sit still.
That’s simple advice, but it’s quite succinct. The world around you is moving and developing at the speed of light. You not only need to know how to become a successful entrepreneur, but you need to take at least the first steps on this winding road.
Read books, ask other businessmen for advice, do market research and surveys, sign up for some training – take the first step today. In a month, you’ll be 30 further along than your envious people.
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes – you can always start over.
What’s the point of business
When you realize that the point of business is to feel free and enjoy the game, pass these attitudes on to your employees. As I said before, let them know that you want to win the game (become the market leader, launch a new product, etc.) so they know the common goal and feel like they are players who have come together for something bigger.
At first glance, these ideas may seem silly and disconnected from reality. But check it out, and you’ll find that great companies have been created and developed this way.
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