Having worked directly with hundreds of business owners over the past three years, I’ve noticed that regardless of the size of the company, there are some fundamental considerations that must be made in order to make money and have success.
In the sake of keeping this post relatively short, I’ve chosen 3:
1. Take 100% responsibility for your success
I know this sounds simple, but, it still never ceases to amaze me, how many people are still not willing to do this. 100% responsibility means that even when someone else screws up (a supplier, your bookkeeper, your lawyer, your sales person(s), your delivery driver, etc.) you still take responsibility. No consumer cares that it wasn’t exactly your fault. No consumer wants to hear you go on a rant about how you just can’t find good people these days etc. Your consumers want to know that NO MATTER WHAT you are willing to take ownership of what your business is doing in the market. You might lose a sale, you might even lose a customer, but, I promise you, you will still retain some ‘street cred’ for the simple fact that you take responsibility. Regardless of the results you’re getting today in your business, promise yourself that tomorrow, when you wake up, you will look yourself in the mirror and take 100% responsibility for those results and 100% responsibility to make the necessary changes (if there are some) in order to change those results. No more blaming, complaining, passing the buck, or making excuses. As a business owner myself, I know exactly how hard this can be, however, nothing will serve you better in the long run.
2. Know your numbers
I’m shocked on an ongoing basis by how many people have no concept of the financial health of their business. Now, I’m not much of a math girl – never really have been, BUT, taking 100% responsibility doesn’t mean you always have to be the one doing the work. (And in my case, I’m not.) I still take 100% responsibility to make sure I have the best service providers and MORE IMPORTANTLY I make sure I have strong relationships with them so that I can ask all the necessary questions. I don’t have to know it all, I just need to know who to ask. All that said, I review my numbers on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis. How much business am I prospecting, who have I or am I presenting to, what new business have I closed, what expenses do I have, what’s my cash flow look like, what budgets do I need/want to create for new projects, ideas, etc. Everything in my business is measurable and attached to a number. That is the only way I know how I’m doing, what I need to be doing better, what isn’t working and what I need to do more of. If you haven’t already, take charge of your finances this week. Get a strong bookkeeper and accountant on your team asap to support you. (If you need a recommendation, pop me an email – I’ve got a rolodex chalk full of the best in the City!)
3. Hunt for new business
I get a lot of my female clients wide-eyed when I mention the concept: ‘we eat what we kill’ and I thing I know why. It sounds gruesome. Killing/hunting – these are not terms synonymous with the feminine business model, however, I think they make a strong and necessary point. As business owners we need to be curious. Curious about the answer to the question “who needs/wants what I have to offer?” And after we’ve answered those questions we need to actually PURSUE those audiences. We need to SEARCH. Searching out and pursuing a SPECIFIC target is called HUNTING. The main thing to retain (if you can’t stomach the analogy) is that you have to ACT. You have to step out, make contact, have conversations and curiously explore and search for new business opportunities. Trust me when I tell you that sitting in your office, apartment, starbucks etc. ‘hoping, praying, and attracting’ new business is not the route to profitability.
Put these 3 – small business fundamentals for success - on the top of your ‘to be’ list and watch your business take off.
All the best,