Here are some simple and very effective tips for keeping your business on track.
1) Don’t Run Out Of Cash
a. There is only one thing that is cash and that’s cash. Your assets are not cash – try paying the bills with an office chair, it’s not so easy. Having cash in the bank is critical to your business, it’s how you pay your employees and suppliers and so on. Make sure you keep enough.
2) Simple Reliable Financial Tool
a. At the end of the day you should know, with very lose accuracy, how much money you have in the bank. Make sure you have simple to use relatively accurate tools to report this daily. You don’t need to know down to the cent what you have you just need a very close idea. Should also have a good snap-shot of all the other critical indicators to your business, new hires, operational performance, sales etc…
3) Stay Sharp
a. When was the last time you learned something, I mean, really learned something? Keep your mind not only active but challenged. Go back to school and learn more about your field. Keep yourself up to date with changes and innovation in your particular profession.
4) Customer Needs: Fill it right the first time.
a. Are you truly providing what the customer is wanting? Many companies suffer from tunnel vision thinking that what they have is what the customer wants. Sales people will try to push what they know in order to close the deal. Take a step back and look at what you are doing. Ask yourself seriously, is this what they really want?
5) Recognize Change: Get your head out of the sand and look around
a. Having a crystal ball would be the ideal solution to all our business woes. You could see when the market is going to dip, when it’s going to ramp up and when it’s going to change. Instead of search for that crystal ball look around. Listen to the news and listen to others views of the news. What is happening around the world and around the corner? Staying informed will help you make the right choices
6) Please the Customer
a. Keep the customer happy and they will keep coming back. More importantly they will tell others about you and if you please them they will sing your praise over and over.
7) NEVER Compromise Quality
a. In today’s economy it’s common to have customers beat us down on price. Never change your quality level based on your willingness to change the price. Find other ways, typically operational, to reduce cost. The customer will soon forget that discount you gave him if you have provided a poor quality product or service.
8) Always Play What If
a. The devil is in the details. Play devils advocate and challenge your self and team with “What If”? If you don’t know the worst outcome possible you may get bitten and when you do it will take a chunk out of your tail.
9) A Little Success Can Cost You A lot
a. Make sure your success is truly profitable and not small increments. Go after good jobs not the biggest all the time and not the smallest.
10) Is your team Honest with you
a. The team you hire around you must be allowed and should be encouraged to stand up and let you know when things are going wrong or about to. If you have a team of yes men find someone else to keep you straight.