Every business owner must have the knowledge and ability to perform certain tasks in order to become successful. I’ll be honest, some of the things on this list I’ve learned the hard way. Some came to me very naturally and others I’ve learned by observing countless entrepreneurs building their businesses. In this blog, I will go over the five things every business owner needs to do to become successful.
1. Maintain positive cash flow
I am a big fan of the TV show “Shark Tank.” I love seeing people overcome tough odds and build a company from the ground up in their living room. However, a lot of them have no idea how to manage their cash.
I see this scenario all too often with my clients. They have a solid product or service, customers, good margins, and substantial profit. But, when I ask them how much is left in the bank, they give me a ridiculous amount. Translation: they’re barely making it paycheque to paycheque.
Every successful business owner must have a good understanding of the financial levers of their business if they want to effectively manage their cash flow. Inventory payments, payment collections and supply price fluctuations are among the things that can impact your business. This leads me to my next point.
2. Know your numbers
How much does it cost you to acquire a new customer? How much should you budget for each social media channel? Do you know the margins on all your products and services?
You can’t build a successful business by relying on your gut to make all the big decisions. This may work once or twice, but the business owners that succeed are the ones that are meticulous and know their KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) by heart.
3. Focus on attracting and hiring talent
Here’s a line that sounds like something you would read in a human resources specialist’s office: “your employees are the life and blood of your business.” This is the truth. No matter how dedicated you are to growing your company, you can’t do everything by yourself.
Every successful business owner should focus on developing a company culture that attracts talent. Think about your employees’ needs and try to provide them with opportunities for growth. Help them develop their skills, allow flexibility, and encourage them to share their ideas with you.
4. Be flexible
Every diligent entrepreneur knows they must have a business plan to guide them through their journey. The problem is they draft the document in the early stages, then lock it in a drawer and completely forget about it.
Your business is like a living organism; it grows and evolves as time goes on. Moreover, updating your plan to meet the current reality of your company will allow you to see potential hurdles and make the necessary adjustments before you run into bigger problems.
5. Practice “social listening”
Your business may only operate from Monday-Friday, 9:00-6:00 pm, but your customers are always on. If they had a bad experience, they will complain about it online regardless of the time and day. You need to be there to do damage control and minimize the problem before it snowballs. This doesn’t mean you should refresh your Facebook page every five minutes and Google your company ten times a day. But you could set up Google Alerts to know when someone is mentioning your business online.
One last piece of advice for every business owner
There’s one more piece of advice that I would like to give; try to think about the greater good. The modern-day consumer is conscious of their impact on the world. They expect companies to have a higher purpose than just turning a profit. Try to commit to a cause that you believe in and are passionate about and make a difference!
I’ve seen lots of entrepreneurs struggling with these aspects of their business. If you feel that you are stuck, don’t hesitate to reach out.