Most of the challenges of starting a business have to do with getting the little things right. As every good coach has said, the foundations take you to the top.
If you are considering starting a small business, you should follow these ten important small business rules:
1. You need to manage your money.
The main reason small businesses fail is lack of money, not lack of profit. You need to make good cash planning and really understand the levers in your business that can affect your money.
2. You need to develop a data-driven culture.
The more you can track and use data to make business decisions, the better your decisions will be. Running a business always requires some “gut feeling” decisions, but it’s best to educate your intuition as much as possible with all the information you can get.
By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) for your business which you can check at thepediazone and understanding why they are going up or down, you can make decisions that will grow your business and keep you on track.
3. You must have a strategy to recruit and retain talent.
We are always looking for quality talent in our company, so we regularly monitor talent in our region and develop excellent programs and benefits to retain talent.
Take the time to think about the company culture and what you want the culture to be, and make sure you factor the culture into hiring decisions. Linkedin is a tool we regularly use to monitor and attract talent.
4. You have to know your competitors.
You need to know and understand both your direct and indirect competitors. They need to know how to position themselves against all indirect competitors, even if they have no direct competitors. You should always keep an eye on your competitors, understand what they are doing, how they market, what their price is, etc.
You may be unique in your city or in your industry and have no direct competitors, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have indirect competitors. A local DIY tie-dye store in my town has no direct competitors.
But they do offer activity-based events and they compete with all the other establishments that host birthday parties and group events. They also compete with the Saturday fairs and markets that other tie-dye sellers have.
5. You must have a higher purpose: a mission.
People like to work for companies that are more than just a money machine. That doesn’t mean you can’t have sales targets and profit targets; it simply means that your employees will work harder and be more loyal if they feel they are contributing to a greater mission.
Customers also like to buy from companies that they believe have ethics and passion. They have good quality clothes that are quite expensive. People love Patagonia both as a place to work and a place to shop. One of the things that makes people loyal is all the money Patagonia gives to help save the environment and ecosystems around the world.
People are willing to pay more for clothing made from fair-trade cotton. Software is a small business and we help other small businesses succeed. We sell our products and certainly have sales and profit goals, but we also have a passion for helping entrepreneurs.