Recently, as I studied to learn how to do a business enterprise, I heard and took notes from the mouths of successful entrepreneurs on proven and tested methods and strategies they’ve adapted to help their businesses to thrive even in the midst of changing economies. We call such methods & strategies Rules of Thumbs.
Always Have a Plan
Before getting into any business activity, whether small or big, it pays to have a business plan or blueprint to follow. This is sort of your guiding star that will prod and direct you to your destination. It empowers you to have an overall view of all aspects of your business and the potential problems you may meet. It also has solutions to potential threats to your business undertaking.
Start Small and Grow Big
It is usually a safer idea to start small, so that you may learn the kind of business you are in. Customizing yourself to many of the hurdles and challenges that you may meet during the stages of building the business is an essential element you may use in your future decisions as an owner or manager. Expand as the need arises and when you think you can handle the pressures, expectations and responsibilities needed for business growth.
Track Your Finances
You can do this with a record keeping system. Keep track of your incoming and outgoing. Too many expenditures can greatly affect your cashflow or the equilibrium of your business and can capsize your boat. Accurate and innovative record keeping can help you to see trends and the status of your business, where it has come from and where you should take it. Such records can prepare you to make wiser decisions and rectify and realign things before they get out-of-order.
Study the Proper Marketing Mix for Your Business
Strategize what mediums to use in marketing your product or service. Most people use the written text. Use audio, video or podcast to reach your prospective clients. Be proactive and know what’s the best price for your clients and when to lower your prices or vice versa to satisfy the law of demand and supply. Know how and where to place your products and pay attention to demographics.
Live within your means is a very old saying that is of use not only in business but in all of life’s financial aspects. Don’t be lured by excessive or unplanned marketing or promotional activities or expenditures that could have a drastic effect on your company’s budget.
Have a Reserve Fund
This will not only serve you during hard times but during emergency situations such as fire or floods or other events that you haven’t imagined could happen to your business. Since most businesses experience tough times, don’t be naive and think that you will not. Prepare from the start for struggle. If you are one of the few businesses that don’t struggle, great! But don’t count on it. Akin to mountain climbing, the longer your ropes are, the greater heights you are capable of reaching.
It Pays to Have a Business Insurance
I knew a friend who have prepared for tough times and reaped the rewards of her vigilance when a great storm hit their place. Of all the business owners in town, she was the only person who planned for worst case scenarios by purchasing a business insurance. While majority of the businesses around her were ruined, she received a huge amount of cash enabling her to do a major repair and upgrade the amenities of her beach resort. In actuality, she came out better than before the storm.
Innovate or Change With the Times
What was upbeat in the 90’s may not be popular now. Be flexible. Innovate, or choose to die. This is a rough statement, but many businesses have lagged behind because they won’t respond or update adequately to changing trends, changing methods, changing times. You must plan from the start.
Beat the Competition
Always, always, always – stay competitive. Your competitive attitude is essential for confidence that you can produce a product or service as well or better than anyone else. It also fortifies your “guard”, increasing your capabilities, resourcefulness and ingenuity.
My fiance is a golfer. His golfing hero is Ben Hogan. Hogan believed that you must have an edge on your competition.” In other words, you have to do something that they don’t do! Bottom line: Do something that other businesses don’t do. Have things that other businesses don’t have. And the more unique you are, (the more things you have that they don’t have), the more this sets you above any competition you may face.
In the midst of all the nitty-gritty details of having to conceptualize, start, grow and maintain your business, you need persistence. Why? Because success is generally not easy to make and there are times you may need to fall, not only once but a few times, to become successful. This is part of your education in the University of Hard Knocks. Remember the adage, “If you fall off the horse – get back on.”
Years ago, Stanford University did a study to find the most common traits of successful people. They called this study The Peak Performance Study. In it, they examined the elements that made successful people successful. They examined people from all walks of life: such as business, entertainment, sports, medical, politics, etc. What they discovered was that most successful people fell many times in their rise to success. But the one reason, the so-called common denominator that all of them possessed was, you guessed it, persistence. Foremost among this list is perhaps the American Civil War President, Abraham Lincoln, who failed to get elected 50 times — before he became President of the United States. So if you have a great idea, and you know it, don’t let anyone or anything discourage you from pursuing it. Chances are that along with the millions before you who have not given up on their dreams, you, too, will eventually win and be called a success — if you simply persevere.
Irene is a freelance writer and loves to watch music videos at