This has to be one of the smallest and most commonly used little words, but have you as a business owner ever given any thought to its importance?
Depending on how you say do, it can be either a positive little word, or it can be one of the most negative.
Remember, when running your business to do everything you can to ensure you keep a positive slant on all that you do.
Do not let the negative side of this little two letter word take over at your business.
Make sure you are willing to invest heavily in running your business to ensure it stands a good chance of success. This is more than a financial investment which in itself maybe substantial, but also make sure you are willing to give of yourself, and for a sustained period of time. Remember, no one makes a success of a business by working 9-5.
- Do have a business with a culture that encourages a willingness and capacity to innovate, from staff at all levels; you never know where this will lead.
- Review the management that are going to be involved in running the business, what key personnel will you have working along side you and what areas of management will they be responsible for.
- Do ensure the management team has the ability and capability of leadership, and this especially applies to you as the business owner, in fact, as the owner it is essential you can demonstrate leadership skills.
- Do ensure your management team shares your aspiration and entrepreneurial attitude for your business.
- Do ensure your management team strengths compliment your weaknesses. No one succeeds by surrounding themselves with yes men/women or worse still inferior clones of themselves.
- Do remember to delegate, people often thrive when given responsibility, and it may just be that you are not always the best one to do the job!
- Do you know your market - ensure you do? Make sure you do enough market research into the product/service you are going to offer and what about the competition?
- Do you know who will be your competitors, are they well established? If so, what will you do to differentiate your product/service from theirs?
- Do make sure your market research also covers potential customer demand. How many times do you think business owners have set up in business to only find limited or worse still, no demand? So do ask the question of people, ‘will you buy from me and how often’. Do not be afraid to hear the reply ‘oh well it’s a great idea, but no I wouldn’t buy it’ at the very least this may save you from making a big mistake.
- Do make market research flexible, set questions get set answers. Take the negative response ‘oh well it’s a great idea, but no I wouldn’t buy it’; follow this up with why not? The answer may as simple as it looks ugly.
- Do make sure you have adequate standards for quality control and performance expectations, and do monitor them and act on any shortcomings.
- Do you know where you will operate from? Make sure the premises are adequate for all your office/production needs.
- Do remember that when locating a business to consider transport links and the need for an adequately skilled and located labour force.
- Do give serious thought and time to the needs of your employees, not just financial but also their ‘lives’ outside work. Do make your business the place everyone wants to work. How many times have you heard ‘a happy workforce is a productive one’?
- Do plan for your business, so many businesses fail through a lack of planning.
- Remember, ‘plan to succeed, but failing to plan is a plan to fail’.
- Do engage the help of professionals, and listen with an open mind to what they say even if you don’t like what you hear:
- a lawyer for all your legal needs,
- a human resources professional to make sure you adhere to all the employment legislation that exists as well as acting as a negotiator between you and your staff during those difficult times,
- an accountant, firstly to assist you in setting up all the financial systems and then to guide you and your business over the years through the ‘red tape’,
- a business advisor/consultant to advise on business strategy, and last
- but certainly not least, a personal mentor to ensure you know where you are going and keep you on track.
- Do have a vision and purpose, whether it is to be the biggest, the best or the cheapest.
- Do have an exit strategy, no one lives for ever.