Most people with small- to medium-sized businesses end up where they are by accident. When we were younger, few of us said that we wanted to grow up to be a business person. It is something we come to.
If you want to create a thriving business, you should follow rules. And more importantly, you should follow these rules:
Rule #1: Never fly solo.
Have a partner or a trusted advisor/coach in your corner. If you want to get into the business world, do it with someone. Flying solo may sound great at first, but things can get tough if you don’t have a co-pilot. This way, when you are unsure of what to do when things get tough, you have someone you can consult.
Rule #2: Have a clear sense of ownership.
When you work with business partners and team members, not only should you have a written contract on each person’s ownership, but more importantly you should clearly define what each person is responsible for. The purpose of having business partners and employees is that everyone brings a different skill set to the table. With these unique skills, each person can do different tasks and start specializing so that your business can be more efficient.
Having an understanding of who is responsible for what in your organization will ensure that everyone knows who is doing what, what they are expected to accomplish, and when everything will be done. This ensures that everyone in your company is on the same page and is sharing the same vision.
Rule #3: Never make promises you can’t keep.
The most common mistake new entrepreneurs make (and I made this when I first started out) is overpromising and under-delivering. Luckily, I quickly learned that if I under-promised and over-delivered, I would have happy customers who would keep on paying me for a long time.
Even to this day, I constantly meet and also experience business owners who make promises they can’t keep. And the funny part about it is that most of these promises they can’t keep are not important.
If you can learn to keep your promises, your business will shine. Yes, it is that simple.
Rule #4: Go above and beyond to make customers happy.
As I mentioned in rule number 3, under-promise and over-deliver. That’s the easiest way to keep your customers happy. What you’ll find is that the best way to acquire new customers is to make your current ones happy. By going above and beyond for your customers, they’ll gladly be willing to brag to others and – most importantly – constantly refer you new business.
Plus, the biggest benefit of making your customers happ is that they’ll stick around a lot longer, which will increase your life-time value. This is important, as you will quickly learn that it is much harder to acquire new customers than it is to keep customers. So make sure you go above and beyond for your customers.
Rule #5: There is no such thing as a 9-to-5 job.
You could even say this rule applies to you if you are working a 9-to-5 job, but if you are a business owner it applies even more. You are tied to your business, it is just part of the deal. At any given point, you can expect to put in some extra hours. Just because you’re tired of working or are sick doesn’t mean business is going to stop and wait for you to come back.
Be prepared to work 24/7 and don’t complain about the long hours. It’s life and if you can’t do it, then you aren’t cut out to be a real business owner. The best advice I can give you is make sure you are enjoying what you are doing. Because if you are, working 80 hour weeks won’t be that hard and it won’t feel like work.
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