Running a business is usually a new experience for most people and contrary to popular opinion, it is not a walk in the park. As such, when one is new to business, they are bound to make mistakes that can easily demoralize them.
However, just like in any other field, they best way to learn is from other seasoned entrepreneurs or through experience. As such, to avoid making critical mistakes, here are some business tips every entrepreneur should know.
1. Have A Business Plan
The most common mistake people make is starting a business without a plan. A business plan will make you do your research, have a clear structure, and set goals. You can draft a simple business plan to act as a guide. However, if the business model is more complicated, it’s better to get a professional to help you write the business plan.
2. Listen To Your Customers
The golden rule of business is the customer is always right. What this simply means is that you should value your customers opinion even when they are criticizing your business . Most businesses grow due to the input of their customers. Therefore, you should treat your customers like your business advisors. If there’s a common complaint, try to improve on the area so as to make your customers comfortable.
3. Trust Your Instincts
There will be many times where you question your decisions especially when things don’t go the way you expected. It’s important to note that in business, many decisions are based on gut feelings hence you should know how to listen your instincts. However, you should still make informed choices even when going with your gut feeling.
4. Protect Your Intellectual Property
Most people don’t realize the importance of protecting their intellectual property until a lawsuit ensues. Depending on the kind of business, you may require to copyright, trademark, or patent your work so as to have a competitive advantage. As such, it’s necessary to familiarize yourself with the different types of intellectual property and the registration process in the country.
5. Learn To Say Yes and No
People will approach you with endless proposals when you’re doing business. Learn what to accept and what to reject based on your goals. Additionally, you should be firm with your decisions without coming off as rude or arrogant as some can be very persuasive.
6. Learn how to balance books
Remember that Commercial Transactions unit in the university which you absolutely hated? Well, it actually comes in handy when you’re running your own business. Whether you have a financial manager or not, learning how to balance your books is an essential skill to become a successful entrepreneur. You’ll know how to budget and monitor the business expenses more effectively.
7. Ensure There’s Enough Cash Flow
Before budgeting for anything else, ensure that there’s enough money in your business account. Most businesses fail as soon as they start due to poor budgeting which makes them run out of money. A steady cash flow ensures you have adequate money to stock up your business at the very least. As such, your business has the potential to grow.
8. Recognize Your Star Employees
Not everybody will be enthusiastic to help your business achieve its goals. In fact, there are few employees who’ll fully devote their skills and time to the business. These are your star employees and should be treated as such. Ensure you maintain a close relationship with them. Put their skills to good use and ask what they need to remain motivated.
9. Keep Your Personal Life Separate
There’s always a huge risk when your personal life starts mixing with your business. When running a family-owned business, it’s necessary to keep family and business matters separate. Always ensure every family member knows their role in the business. Additionally, avoid having an intimate relationship with employees or customers as this will most likely lead to wrangles.
10. Be Humble
Every successful entrepreneur had to humble themselves and learn when they were starting out in business. Whether you’re an expert in the field or not, there are so many things you’ll realize you don’t have the answers to and it’s only through humility that you will be able to learn. Additionally, this will also help you form better relationships with your clients and customers.