Business Management 101
Tips to help business enthusiasts and entrepreneurs
When you’re tasked with building or managing an organization, consider the following “common sense” tips from Victor Green, who lectures and mentors small business owners and new entrepreneurs in conjunction with SCORE and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Promote your businessThe first priority is to clearly identify your audience. Who are your prime targets? Once you have determined who they are, then prioritize them in order of importance. Your marketing budget should be spent in accordance with these priorities, rather than choosing advertising and publicity avenues based on price. Consider every marketing resource and evaluate which will give you best value.
Service is the most important part of your businessToday, everybody wants to be treated as a “special person.” If you treat your customers well, your reputation will grow. This is the cheapest – and most effective – form of advertising. Be honest, polite and attentive. Don't rely on emails or social media to do this work for you. There is nothing better than doing business face to face.
Your staff will follow your exampleIf you portray professionalism and attentiveness, your staff will see this as the way you want your business to be run. If, however, you have a poor attitude, are a bad timekeeper, take extended breaks during the day, go home early, or dress badly, then your staff will assume that this is how you want your business to be run. Never ask your staff to do something that you would not do yourself.
Build a relationship with all customersYou must develop a loyal customer base to maintain reoccurring sales revenue. Then, and only then, can you start to branch out secondary audiences and those further out. If you do not build a strong relationship that produces repeat business, you effectively will have to start your business over and over again every time you sell.
Analyzing financial income versus expenditure is crucialYour P&L will reveal all sorts of things. If you don't have a P&L, you are effectively running your business in the dark.
Your P&L will allow you to obtain sales trends by tracking periods of higher and lower sales, which will help you direct your advertising and publicity expenditure at these particular times. You also can also study your overhead costs to see if they can be reduced.
Every successful entrepreneur has had business failuresToo many people let ego and pride get in the way and continue to run a business that is not profitable. Be ready and willing to cut the cord, and you will set yourself up to succeed.
Originally published in Masonry magazine.
About the Author