The world of small business is a lot like Disneyland. It’s a place where dreams come true… But it has an undeniable dark side. It’s a place where people come with high hopes, high expectations and a sense of excitement and wonder. It’s a place where one can quickly get giddy with anticipation… But if you don’t keep your wits about you, you can walk out bankrupt. In an era where the ground always seems to be moving beneath the feet of small business owners, where competition is both rife and cutthroat, in a world of uncertainty where every move of your business strategy could be your endgame, we all need a helping hand to guide us. That’s why I’ve descended from Mount Sinai (my desk), to bequeath unto you this tablet (iPad) upon which is writ 5 commandments of small business ownership. Read them, learn them and go forth and spread the word amongst your fellow entrepreneurs…
Thou Shalt Not Be Miserly
While entrepreneurs must always keep a close eye on the purse strings, be aware that under-investment can be just as crippling for a small business as indiscriminate or frivolous spending. If you’ve carefully calculated the fiscal multiplier of a prospective investment and have a rough idea of the ROI it can generate, you can spend safe in the knowledge that it’s most likely money well spent. There are no guarantees, for sure, but you can’t expect healthy growth when you under-invest in your enterprise.
Thou Shalt Ask For Help When Thou Needeth It
The time, attention and resources of entrepreneurs are often stretched thin and though they may be smart and capable people, it’s important for entrepreneurs to remember that they’re only human. Reaching out for help when you need it through outsourcing your tech provision to a company that does Managed IT Services for businesses, reaching out to a marketing agency to help grow your brand or simply getting better at delegating are essential ways to lighten your load and make your life livable.
Thou Shalt Honor Thy Employees
While your skills and vision may light the way for them, your employees are a huge part of what makes your business what it is, so it’s vital that you treat them with respect. Not only must you give them decent pay and conditions, you also need to show them that they’re valued. Give them a voice and allow them to make suggestions. Give them empowerment and autonomy and resist the urge to micromanage.
Thou Shalt Make Time For Thy Friends And Family
If they’re not careful, entrepreneurs can burn out. The results are never pretty. Not only do they become stressed, exhausted and irritable, their judgment is compromised, they’re unable to think on their feet and make quick decisions and inevitably their businesses suffer. Moreover, your relationship with your spouse, children, and friends can deteriorate too. Making time for them is just as important as your business.
Thou Shalt Listen To Thy Customers
Finally, it’s essential that market research remains an ongoing part of your business strategy. Listen to customer feedback and use it to shape the products and services you offer. If you fail to keep your finger on the pulse you will risk alienating the customers who made you what you are.
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