Business Success

Success - Is this what you Want?
When you start to grow your business, sometimes you need to ask yourself some tough questions. You may think your business is going well. You may be happy because it is growing. You may be overjoyed because it appears to be growing beyond your expectations. But then you come to a point where you ask yourself, "What is next?" "What do I have to do now?"

" Perhaps it's time for you to re-assess your business and your direction..."

It's at times like this that you realise you've been so busy running the business that you haven't had time to plan the growing of the business. Perhaps its time for you to assess your business and ask whether this is what you wanted.

Some questions to be answered include the following:

  • Is this what I really wanted when I started up?
  • Have I still got the excitement I had when I opened my doors on that first day?
  • Do I want to carry on business in this matter or is it time to make changes, such as bringing a partner in before I look at expansion?
  • Is the business meeting all my needs, or is anything missing?
  • Will these things come if I look at growing the operation?
  • Is it time for me to expand my business or am I happy keeping it as it is?
  • What kind of venture do I really want to own and am I happy with the size of my business at the moment?
  • If I decide to grow my business how big do I want to expand it?

Further Questions to Ask
You have now reached a point where you have decided to expand the business. The following are questions that need to be answered:

  1. Who is my competition and how do things stand at the moment?
  2. What is my share of the market and what would happen to my competition if I started to grow my business?
  3. Would I have to make many changes to be more competitive?
  4. Shall I expand my business within my current niche or start working outside of it? Maybe I should look at both.
  5. Can I expand my business simply by selling more to my customers, or should I look at growing the business by targeting new customers.
  6. Should I look at diversifying into complementary products or services?
  7. If I expand, will I have to make changes to my services or products?
  8. What about my pricing?
  9. How will I offer my products now?
  10. Is my method of selling and delivery going to change?
  11. Where will I have my products and services made available to my customers and clients?
  12. What's going to be involved in promotion?
  13. If I expand, will I be able to carry the business on under my present staff, or will I need to hire more employees.
  14. Is it time to look at bringing on board a manager to meet the daily requirements of the business leaving me free to concentrate on other areas of the business?
  15. Will I be looking at new target markets?
  16. Is there enough business for everyone, or will it end up becoming a price war?
  17. Can I generate enough revenue to make a difference?
  18. Will my efforts to increase sales be worth it?
  19. After thinking through what's going to be involved, do I really want to expand my business at this time?

As you can see there are many questions needing answers before you "kick in" 100% to growing your profitable business venture.

The 42 Greatest Tips for Success in Business Life
What does it take to grow a business and run it successfully?

The main ingredient is attention to the basics, operating with integrity and following the way other successful people have run their operations.

Here are StartRunGrow's 42 greatest business tips:

  1. Advisers - Make sure you talk to other successful people who have already done it. There is no sense in reinventing the wheel and learning by trial and error if you don’t need to. Discuss it also with your family, especially your spouse. It’s best to get their backing and support because you will need it.

  2. Costs - Watch your spending. It’s very easy for business costs to “run right into the stratosphere”. Even when you start to make money keep an eye on your costs.

  3. Capital - Don’t start a business unless you have enough money saved up. You need to have enough to start up your business and to run your operation for a 6 month period (at least) until the business starts generating enough income to “fend for itself” and grow. Under-capitalisation by small businesses is one of the biggest causes of failure.

  4. Use others - Know your strengths and weaknesses and fill in the gaps with people (such as your advisers or experienced employees) who have expertise in the areas you don’t.

  5. Court – Try and settle out of court if you can. Whatever your dispute going to court will cost you thousands of dollars for your lawyers as well as a huge amount of stress and heartache let alone loss of time and productivity. Avoid any type of court action if you can. Use negotiation, mediation or arbitration rather than litigation.

  6. Next level - Don’t depend on your friends and family. They can help you at the start, but they are not usually the people to get you on to the next level because of their lack of experience and skills.

  7. Drawings – Try not to draw too much money out for yourself from the business at the beginning. If you take too much pay from your new venture it could impact on your cash reserves and leave the business with cash flow problems. Take out of the business the minimum that you need.

  8. Realistic - Keep your feet on the ground. Don’t chase blue-sky potential. Be realistic in all you do. Don’t show off. Use your head at all times – that’s why it’s there.

  9. Good Products - Make sure you have good products and services. You can’t have a business unless you are selling something that buyers want. There is no point going into the marketplace if your products and services are not up to scratch as far as quality or function is concerned. There are many competitors out there and it is tough to win, let alone survive.

  10. Cash Flow - Watch your cash flow every day. Monitor the cash that comes in and that goes out. Your cash is essential. Once that’s gone – you’re gone.

  11. Enjoy - Make sure you enjoy the business you are in. If you enjoy what you are doing, you will do it a lot better and a lot faster. It has to be something worth getting out of bed for.

  12. Motivation – Because you no longer have to account to anyone but yourself, you must be self-motivated. Get out of bed early every day just as if you had to beat the traffic to work.

  13. Determination – Unless you are serious and determined to succeed in your business you will find that little will be achieved. Be “dogged” determined and persevere.

  14. Confidence - Be confident in your own abilities. If you have confidence in your ideas and skills there is no reason why you cannot succeed, even alongside the big operators. Get ongoing help, if you can, from a successful business friend and your confidence will grow.

  15. Focus – Be focused. Don’t be distracted. Keep your eye on the ball.

  16. Over-deliver - Always under-promise and over-deliver. There’s something about doing more for customers than what you had originally promised. It gives your business and you a good name and reputation.

  17. Honesty - Keep your integrity. Don’t do what many others do that involves cutting corners. Keep honest and open. Nothing gives you a better nights sleep then that.

  18. Customers - Focus on your customers. Looking after your customers and pleasing them should be your number one priority. Without customers you’ve got no business.

  19. Skills – Make sure you possess the necessary skills to be able to carry out the type of business that you are contemplating or currently in.

  20. Experience – Even though it is not critical, possessing a little experience in accounting or business or finance will be a great help.
  1. Work – Work Hard. You will need to put in a few more hours at the beginning and for the first year or two. Tell your family and friends about this so they will understand and help you wherever possible.

  2. Pay your bills – Always pay your bills on time. Get a good name for it. Be faithful in this area and your suppliers will be able to trust you when you need more credit at certain times.

  3. Discount – If you pay early ask for a discount. In fact always ask for a discount when you buy anything. Most will give you a discount for cash. Discounts add up. No one pays the full retail price nowadays anyway.

  4. Tax – There are ways available to you to reduce your tax. See a good tax specialist if your accountant doesn’t specialise in this area. Never delay your tax payments because the penalties are too heavy.

  5. Records – Make sure your records are absolutely fantastic. Keep all your communication and emails. Keep every receipt. Take a copy of all documents. Lose nothing. They will “save your bacon” one day when you have a court case and you just happen to have a copy of that important piece of paper in your files.

  6. Hours – Keep to proper hours. If you burn the midnight oil everyone looses out. Your family, your friends, your kids and you. You will not be rested so your performance will suffer the next day.

  7. Learn – Get to know a little about business and the principles of finance, sales and profit. Read as much as you can on these subjects. Attend courses. Go to seminars. Learn and learn and learn. You cannot learn enough about business.

  8. Staff – Take your time when picking good staff. They will be a big asset in your business. Promote only to character. Character is never wrong. Dismiss those who refuse to work as they will not be productive. Reward those who deserve credit. Treat all staff fairly. Give respect equally to the office junior as well as the Chairman of the Board. 

  9. Golden Rule - Keep to the golden rule “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you” – that never fails. And keep a smile on your face. It brightens the day for all of us.

  10. Accountant – Get a good accountant. Someone who knows “their stuff”. They must be prepared to “fight” for you if necessary. They must be able to give you attention. They must not be afraid of the Tax Department. Get someone who specialises in small business. Make sure you can get along - that’s critical.

  11. Lawyer – Ditto as for Accountant plus they must be aggressive and be able to think on their feet. They must hate to lose. Get someone who can talk in plain language – not in legalese. They have to know all the tricks – legally. And they must be organised and sharp.

  12. Partners – Be very careful about who you bring in as partners or shareholders. The wrong people could ruin you. They will betray you and try to take your business from you. Keep control of all situations at all times. Make sure you are the Governing Director in your company and draft a Constitution in your favour before any new people come in. Retain majority shareholding at all times and keep directorship within your family or trusted associates. Make no one a director or partner until they are proven. Do not appoint anyone who is not totally loyal to you.

  13. Spouse – Don’t leave your spouse out of things. Men need to know that their wives have a special ability to see the details which they often miss. Woman’s intuition? It’s there men and it could “really work for you”. Ladies, your man can see the big picture so try and work as a team.

  14. Passion – Be passionate about what you do. You have God-given talents and they’ll show through in your passion. When nothing else gets you through, passion will.

  15. Live - Make sure you make a life and not just a living. Having a business should be long-term. It should be the investment for your retirement and an inheritance for your children and grandchildren. It has to be something that creates a life for you, not just a living.

  16. Stress – Watch out for worry and stress. Don’t harbour business grudges because you’ll be the main loser. If someone betrays you or "rips you off” don’t let it eat you up. If it is something that you can forgive - do it. How you react to the wrong done to you is the important thing. Release it and let it be their problem not yours. Keep your peace. Keep a calm attitude. Keep being laid back. Learn to relax. Take care of yourself. If the business loses you it loses its most valuable asset. Tomorrow will bring a  new day.

  17. Goals – Don’t ever forget why you went into business in the first place. Now and then check up on yourself. What were your original goals? Are you still on track? Do your goals still excite you? If business no longer does it for you then it may be time for a change.

  18. Health - Keep yourself healthy and fit. Lose weight if you need to. Work in an early walk or gym session daily. Don't diet but develop better eating habits and lifestyle. Shortcuts don't work. Get to bed before 10 so you can get in at least 7-8 hrs sleep.  Make changes that would be with you forever. "There's no change if there's no change".

  19. Rise Early - Start the day early. Get up before dawn while the family are still asleep. Wash your face, grab a "cuppa" and enjoy the morning. Have a time for yourself and reflect on things. Be thankful for the new day. Rising early helps you to take control. Your mind is clear in the morning. Before 6 am is good. There's something about getting up early.

  20. Joy – Keep happy inside. Go with the old proverb “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine”.

  21. Family – Don’t lose your family in your effort to get ahead. When you have become a millionaire it’s not your money that will bring you happiness – it will be your family. Keep close to your kids. Be their rock. They need a secure hideout. Be the one person they know will always stand for them when no one else will give them the time of day. Love and respect your wife (or husband or partner) above all others. He or she is your greatest business ally. Value your family. Make sure they are there for you when you’ve reached the top by making sure you are there for them during your climb. Remember, no business is worth it.

  22. Never Quit – If you fall or have fallen get up again. Bounce back. Look up. “Two men looked out of prison bars – one saw mud the other saw stars” It depends where you look - up or down. No matter what you have gone through there will always be hope. Without hope life is hopeless. Never give up – ever.

Like anything else you look to for increasing your wealth, it will take courage and perseverance. Be prepared to put in the hard work required and accept that this could be  a serious change of direction for you, especially if you had just come from being employed and under the authority of a boss.

Being in business can be daunting for some people, but with careful planning, listening to those who are experienced and successful, and working with your advisers, the results can be very satisfying and surprising. If you keep your feet on the ground, walk humbly, listen to advice and watch and learn there is no reason why you cannot succeed enormously.

All the Best