A big number of entrepreneurs start their own businesses because it allows them to pursue their passion, gives them more flexibility and the ability to make the decisions by themselves. But doesn’t always go the way they want. More than two-thirds of businesses survive two years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but only 50 percent reach the five-year mark; and one-third last 10 years or more. Here I will present a certain set of rules that will help you organize your business, and help you through the rough times, consider this something like ten business’ commandments:
- Turn a profit.
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you lead, you have to turn a profit. This seems like a given, but some people are completely focused on pursuing their dreams, and they forget that they need money to live. And if that happens, the job becomes a hobby.
- Provide your value.
You need to make sure that customers fully understand the value of your product or service. You don’t really need a unique product to be successful, but you need to set yourself apart from the competition. That will be the value you provide your customers.
For instance, think of any modern company like Facebook, Apple or Google. Google provides you a huge amount of information in a matter of seconds; Facebook allows you to get in touch with your old friends, family members, colleagues in a very simple way; Apple offers people the latest technology which makes them feel they are on the cutting edge. Those are the values of each company.
You can still run a small business and provide value, just make sure you are standing out and use that.
- Invest in your business.
This is according to CB Insights one of the reasons why businesses fail is cash-flow problems. Twenty-nine percent of startups fail because of it. Although entrepreneurs don’t want to spend a lot of money on the latest gadget or software, most of the times it is really necessary if you want to compete with some bigger companies. Not investing in your business can have a bad impact on your growth. Business can survive on low cash when ran properly but you need to think before you invest. Be sure to invest in people and buy some software that will simplify certain things.
- Choose the people around you.
There is not much you can do on your own in business. You need to surround yourself with trustworthy and passionate people. Jim Rohn said that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” That is why it helps to have people with different skills around you. Besides the skills, what matters is passion, you can be skilled in some are, but you need to have the passion for driving you towards success. So make sure you have passionate and talented people around you.
- Never stop learning.
You won’t stop learning your whole life, that’s a fact. But don’t just be a passive receiver, seek for knowledge. Read tons of books, talk to people all the time, go to seminars; step out of your comfort zone all the time. Stepping out of the comfort zone will surely be challenging, but you will learn more and grow every time you do it. When you catch yourself in a comfortable routine is when you stop learning and growing, and that is not good for the business of any kind.
- Don’t be afraid to execute.
Every entrepreneur has some great ideas for business, but they are nothing if you are not able to execute. Always take the chance if you believe in your idea. Always collect the facts, make a research and good business plans to back up your idea. You probably think that your service or product is the next best thing, but if you don’t act, someone will, and you will be left with your own ideas. So don’t be shy and afraid, just work hard and execute.
- Don’t forget about marketing.
Small business owners tend to underestimate the power of marketing. They often believe that it is not important for them like it is to bigger companies. They are completely wrong, marketing matters for every company. In a business world, there are a lot of great ideas, but they are not promoting themselves. What good is it if an idea is revolutionary if no one can see it. Businesses don’t fail because they lack great ideas; they fail because they’re not promoting and selling themselves. An idea might be innovative, but if no one knows about it, your efforts are wasted. Brand should represent what you and your company stand for.
- Be flexible.
Building and running a business is not easy. You need to adjust according to circumstances because you are competing for peoples attention. You can’t always stick to the original plan; you have to be flexible and change it when you encounter any kind of setback. When that happens, customers will give you feedback, and you will have to listen and act according to it. This is probably the most important rule, so don’t be too rigid in your ways.
- Strive for excellence.
When you start a business, you will have to build everything from the zero. You could even over-promise something just to sing up your first few clients. Although you have to aim at providing best possible service, be careful and don’t over-promise because you are most likely to under-deliver after. That is the easiest trap to fall into. Don’t compromise providing excellent service at the expense of your bottom line.
- Think big.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean you should be cocky. Be confident, dream big. Imagine everything you want to do than say, “I can do this” before you start. Believe in yourself. This is all necessary if you want to be an entrepreneur.