We recently attended a half-day event aimed to show people some basic principles of running a business. This was primarily at those starting and running their own businesses and making them profitable enough to bring financial security and greater life flexibility.
There were a couple of case studies to do with property investment and then ecommerce selling on Amazon, two popular areas in today’s modern age.
We therefore thought it would be helpful to nail -down 10 key points from this to help anyone looking into such business ventures, whether on a full-time basis and giving up the day-job so to speak, or more as a hobby to begin an additional part-time income.
Before we get into these, two quick pointers as well. Firstly, we have also relied upon other general experience within this sector, although a lot of these were covered at the event.
And secondly, this is deliberately a more overall business more focused on business overall, rather than just on the financial and accounts side, although of course this will play a huge part in the process.
So here goes, 10 top business-tips to be aware of:
1. Fulfil Genuine Needs
The bottom-line for any business is that they are providing goods or services for customers that are genuinely of value to them.
Although this seems glaringly obvious, it can be easily missed in modern life and talk of bigger business plans and ideas. This must all boil down to adding value to people, that they acknowledge and are willing to make a payment for.
So get these quantified, and ensure that these are being easily met over and beyond them to have a fully satisfied customer or client.
2. Be Clear on Goals
There can be a lots of emphasis on business plans and goals, and being able to easily visualise what the end should be.
These not only need forming, but suitably broken down into realistic ones that can be achieved. So reaching so much turnover or profit or number of customers within a certain time frame for example.
3. Getting the Right Context
Business can take many forms in today’s this day and age, the typical one being your own business being worked on full- time, either individually or with others.
However, things can take a different shape, for example starting a small business at home based upon a new hobby, or even using such skills within a local community group or interest where the end-goal is not just making extra profit for the sake of it.
Even within direct employment, there can be room to apply business skills for benefits such as bonus schemes and promotions.
4. Starting Small and Quantifiable
This is really simple, and applicable in the majority of situations; just start any idea off small.
So keep costs down, even do a small prototype to get going, and simply track the results. If it’s a success, then you can then soon scale-up when you’re ready.
The opposite is going in all guns blazing with a large investment and hoping that it will work.
Going back to the first point of genuinely fulfilling customers’ needs, if this is happening then this start-small way is simply detailing how you do this in a less risky way.
5. Taking Manageable Steps
Looking at what you need to do in business can be daunting; so much to do, and so little time.
Well, just break things down to simple steps, and start taking them one at a time. As you look back weeks or months later you’ll then see that you’ve actually achieved a lot in the end.
Even if the future stuff can’t be quantified yet, don’t delay the initial steps to get going with.
6. Involving Other People
Of course you need to consider obvious people like staff, suppliers, and customers to make your business work, but also look at others as well.
So maybe it can be a family business involving even youth with smaller jobs to become more involved, and see if any other advisors can help shape things as well.
7. The 80/20 Principle
This is actually a general life principle anyway, but referred to in a business context.
In short, 20% of something will end up producing 80% of the results, and therefore this 20% part needing the focus in order to get the most productivity.
This might be concerning time, money, staff, or clients. Learn to sift down into the part that’s making most steps forward for you.
8. The Two Types of Leaders
There are a lot of resources about leadership, however one simple point is to spot the difference between a more visionary leader to a more operational leader.
So the first has the drive, passion, and end-goal in mind to get things going, often more of an entrepreneur.
This is different though to the person who can work out the practical logistics of how things run and more day-to-day people and business management.
It’s rare to find the same person doing both roles, so make sure you have the right roles allocated.
9. Giving it Away
This can seem strange at first, but then quite natural when you see it in action.
That’s giving something away to get something better back, along the lines of the old saying of what goes around comes around. This can be range from financial giving to charitable causes, to going the extra mile for people just for the sake if it.
10. Business Development
A final point is the whole business development, and getting new business.
Ideally this is a job in itself, whether that’s calling round people, marketing techniques, or general networking.
Therefore set specific resources and time aside to do this, however make sure it becomes a natural part of your business as it possibly can do.
Getting the Edge to Business
No matter what angle or business you’re coming from, whether a seasoned entrepreneur, or someone new just wanting to grow a small home-business; these top ten tips will help steer you in the right direction.
It’s essential to get these basic principles in place in order to have the best change for growth and profitability; once they are, then it’s only a matter of time before the pennies start rolling in.