The 4 Best Pieces of Advice for Running a Successful Business

by Lauren Schneidewind on November 30, 2015

Running your own business is a tough challenge today and who has the time to sift through all of the advice that is out there? I can’t tell you how many books, blogs, newsletters, etc. that I have read about running a small business and the advice seems to be all over the map. However, from my experience, there are four pieces of advice that seem to stand out above the rest.

Cash is King

Above all else, cash is king. It is not a matter of if s@%& is going to hit the fan, it is a matter of when, no matter how good one is at running a business. The difference between businesses that succeed and those that do not, can often be boiled down to having cash reserves. And let me just say, when s@#$ hits the fan, it gets everywhere. In order to stay ahead of the game, it is always necessary to be prepared for a cash flow disaster. That is not to say, don’t take risks. Taking risks is fundamental to running a business. However, the way to stay afloat during hard times is by having enough cash to fund operations for several months, allowing time to regroup. Before starting my own business, I worked for two startup businesses; I left both of these companies because they hit a bump in the road and did not have the cash to see it through. These businesses are both still running today and are great at what they do, but they ended up losing their teams and had to start over from scratch. Both of the companies survived the downfall, but losing my team because I mismanaged our cash is something I will tirelessly strive to avoid, which brings me to the next piece of advice.

Your Team

A fellow Entrepreneur’s Organization member once said, “You hire people for their skills and you fire them for their personality.” Hiring the right people is crucial for success. We have learned, the hard way a few times, how much time and money is wasted with a bad hire. Our goal is to hire people with personalities that compliment the rest of our team, and that have the desire to learn. We can teach certain skill sets, but we cannot teach personality. And because our team is crucial to our success, our job is to create a great team environment that is conducive to attracting the best people. A happy team is a productive team.

Go With Your Gut

This is your business and at the end of the day you know what is best for your business. I seem to rely on this daily; I seem to always run into opposition from one source or another. You need to have the confidence in your own decisions to stand up to critics, whether from those around you, or even from your own self-doubts. Now don’t get me wrong, it is always good to listen to advice and to weigh the facts, in order to make the best decisions for your small business but once you do you must own it.

Treat People The Way You Want to be Treated.
There is a reason this is the golden rule from the most popular book in human history. And that is because it is true. Treat your team, clients, and random people on the street, the way you would like them to treat you. This seems to be pretty straight forward, however, I spend a great deal of time trying to find other companies that abide by this principal. It seems to me if you are respectful of others; they are more likely to stick around. Your company will reap the benefits because a happier team cultivates happier clients. When your team and clients are happy, it spreads; positive word of mouth is how our small businesses grow.

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