Businesses that develop over time run the risk of not having all the things in place that make for a good business. This is especially so if it’s a family business. In the beginning it was you – self employed for the first time. Before you knew it there were others working alongside you. They may have been family members or friends, employees, subcontractors etc. This does not belittle where you’ve got to so far. Many businesses fail within the first 3 years of operation so you’ve done a good job to get to here.
It is easy though, to overlook important steps if you’ve “grown into” your business over time. You’ve been busy building your business and working in your business. It’s not uncommon that basic business principles are sometimes never addressed.
Nine Essentials of a Good Business:
1. A Strategic Business Plan
A strong foundation for your business will include a Strategic Business Plan. This delivers the core of everything you need for a sound business strategy. It also provides a sound business model. Without this you are more likely to make tactical decisions. What a good business needs is strategic decisions.
A good business will have a leader. Someone who takes “ownership” of the business as a whole. A leader will “walk the talk”, recognise great effort and create a “team” out of a bunch of employees. Make sure your business is not leaderless.
3. Goals & Objectives
Establish clear goals and objectives for your business. Make sure your whole team knows about them and can align with them. Your team’s buy-in will be crucial if your business is to be successful.
4. Systems & Procedures
Develop systems and procedures to both safeguard and improve your business. This will ensure there is a process to follow for everything. Well-documented systems are a valuable asset in any business. They will provide an added bonus when the time comes to sell.
5. Cashflow Systems
Create a cashflow system that can forecast weeks in advance. This will go a long way to eliminating any nasty surprises.
6. Up-to-date Debtors
Make sure your customers pay on time or bear the consequences. It can be easy to let emotions come into play when someone gives you their sad story. It’s important you have a clear policy or procedure to follow. Being a business owner sometimes means making hard decisions.
7. And Creditors
Pay your own bills on time. It’s hard to get tough with your debtors if you’re slack in this department as well.
8. Proactive Professional Advisors
Get advisors around you that add to what your business is up to. They need to appreciate you and your business. They also need to communicate in language that you understand.
9. Drive & Ambition
A successful business will seek to be top of its game. It will always look for the edge, always look for new ways to improve what it does. Act with the utmost concentration, on purpose and not by happenstance.
A sound business will provide you with the lifestyle needs you want. It will also provide you with an asset that you can one day on-sell. In this way you’ll reap the ultimate reward for all your hard work. There are only two good reasons to be in business – FUN and MONEY – and if there’s no money there’s no fun. A successful business has both.
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