The party is over; we have to get to Business When conceiving this business idea right in your brain, you sure were getting enthusiastic about how you’ll sell this number of units, and how you’ll crush the market.
Dreams are beautiful; fantasies are even more beautiful. The top reason people love to dream or fantasize is they get to live in places their reality can’t match. Everyone should dream once in a while, but not so much when you’re in business.
Ideas are great; imagination is wonderful; execution trumps everything.
As business owners, we have to face reality while we conceive ideas to solve practical human problems. As small business owners, we have to think fast and act even faster without forgetting that our business will fail or succeed if we get these things right.
1. Grow Beyond Friendstomers
Yes, I know that word doesn’t exist in any dictionary, but it doesn’t change the meaning attached to it. It is ideal that when starting a business most of your customers will be friends, family members, acquaintances, and others within that bracket. However, you have to recognize that you didn’t start a business to serve just those people. That market is too small for your business to prosper.
2. Build and Maintain a Robust Accounting/Financial Audit
Although there are no data to back up this claim, accounting is very likely the biggest reason why most small businesses fail. Do you want to verify that? How much did you make last month? How much was your operational cost? How much was your profit? What was your marginal cost/profit? How much are you projecting for this year? Are you on track to meet the projections? Aside from fundamental services and payment of salaries, how much did you expend on other business essentials?
If you run or don’t run a business, ask a friend or relative who does the same question; ask other friends and people you know, and you shouldn’t be surprised that virtually none of them might give you an answer. It becomes difficult to grow a business if you don’t understand the business’ financial returns and outlay. It doesn’t cost you anything to do all these since you can do all the financial analyses via spreadsheets.
3. Utilise IT
In this age, almost everyone is an IT expert (at least in the basic meaning of Information Technology). First, you have to build your online presence. There is no other reason why Amazon now sells more than Wal-Mart than the fact that consumers prefer buying online for the ease. This isn’t a post about e-commerce and social media presence as that would take us through another epistle. Just build your online presence in terms of your personal and business brand. Doing that won’t cost you anything other than a few bucks and time.
Second, analyse, interpret, and utilise data to your advantage. Information is all around us. Today, nothing is hidden, and you can say that ‘Everyone knows everything about everyone.’ You can’t be in a market where you don’t know the overall value of the market including the share you are getting. You need to understand the characteristics of your consumers and what is best suited to them. These are elements smart founders devised to turn their companies into global corporations.
Beyond everything you highlighted in your business plan, there are other things you should put your focus on – customers, finance, and info tech. The business world won’t adapt to your style; you’re the one who needs to adapt to this landscape where profit matters the most.