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Feb 18, 2014

7 Business Principles To Live And Die By

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7 Business Principles To Live And Die By

If you want your business to flourish, you need to get one thing straight… It’s not ALL ABOUT SALES!
While it plays a key role in your success, there are other components like your business process, how well defined your goals are, and team unity (among many others) that you need to make sure is well optimized otherwise you won’t stay in business for long.
I’m not going to lie to you, there are in fact a lot of things that you need to consider when running a business but it doesn’t really have to be that complicated. You just have to make sure that you have the core principles deeply rooted in your business and you’ll find that things will go in the right order by themselves.
What principles am I talking about? I’m glad you asked!

Write a business plan in the first place

When starting a business, you must have a clear vision of your purposes and goals. The best way to do this is through a business plan; A written, organized layout for how you want your business to start, perform, and excel. Learn the essentials for creating a great business plan in below infographic which comes in courtesy of Washington State University.
10 keys to a successful business plan - infographic
10 keys to a successful business plan - infographic

PROACTIVELY think about system improvement.

This is about having the systems mindset. If you haven’t read about Sam Carpenter’s “Work The System”(not an affiliate link), then I suggest that you grab a copy of the free ebook now.

The main point here is to look at your entire circle of influence at a slightly elevated level. If you do that, you’ll see that you’re surrounded by systems. You’ll notice how after step 1, step 2, and 3 comes next. Here’s an example to better illustrate this.

If you’re responsible for the hiring process, your process might look like this:

Step 1 - Determine for which position this round of hiring is going to be for.
Step 2 - Post a job in freelancing sites.
Step 3 - Shortlist the prospects.
Step 4 - Ask the shortlisted prospects to add you on Skype
Step 5 - Ask your prospects to answer your questionnaire
Etc…

Notice how you can add step 5 to step 2 without causing any problems to your system? Those are the kind of things that you need to look out for. Whether it’d be about removing or adding a system (or perhaps tweaking the existing system a bit), you need to be conscious and proactive about these things.

With the right system, you should be able to maximize your time and get more things done with the least amount of time.

Have your working procedures documented and made easily available for your team

When you have your procedures written down, it lessens the chances of mistakes. The lesser mistakes, the lesser fire fighting you’ll do. And if you BARELY have any fire fighting in your business, that means you can focus on improvement, positive results, or acquiring more client etc.

Don’t make your customers wait

Time is in fact of the essence when dealing with customers. If you can’t answer their inquiries, someone else will and chances are, they’ll buy from that person. I mean, why would they buy from you if you weren’t the ones who helped them right?

If you truly value your customers, you’ll find ways to make sure that you’ll be the ones to offer help when they need it. A good way of doing this is through live chat, leaving your contact number, or perhaps your email.

Simple gestures like these will show your customers how eager you are at helping thus, nurturing trust and a stronger relationship between you both.

Don’t ever burn bridges

The line “It’s a small world after all” is no joke!
That’s especially true in the business world where everyone is proactively trying to network and connect with other business minded people.

This is why you should never burn bridges. Sooner or later, you’ll end up meeting the other person. Whether he or she’s going to be a potential client of your client, your competition, or perhaps an investor, you’ll have to deal with unnecessary friction if your relationships with the person got sour.

Now imagine what would happen if you kept the relationship or at least became civil with it. You’ll probably exchanging “how are yous” and talking about your past experiences.

Be proactive and committed about learning

While most people claim that they don’t stop learning, they could be passive about learning as well.
There’s a huge difference with being proactive about it. And rest assured that those who are proactive in learning will have an edge to those who are being passive let alone those who aren’t learning at all.

Being proactive about learning can mean reading new books each month. It could mean talking to your team and proactively asking for their feedback.

The point is that you ought to be proactive in learning so you’ll now more and have a better chance of improving yourself and your system.

Focus on customer satisfaction rather than your product’s features

If you’re DEAD FIXED about adding as many features on your product versus thinking about what would ACTUALLY satisfy your customers, things could get really weird and costly for you. How, you might ask? Here’s an example (an exaggerated one at that!).

Let’s say you’re a manufacturer of caps. You’ll probably add TONS of pockets in it to add to its functionality, a windshield, a solar panel (not even sure why I added this), a reflector, and SO MUCH MORE to give it as much features as you can.

But if you’ll think about what your customer REALLY wants, you’ll probably think about durability, design and comfort, and that’s it! I can imagine both caps to be very different and I’m sure I can bet my family jewels that more customers would go for the latter.

While there are a lot of business principles that can positively influence your business, rest assured that following the ones mentioned above is going to be a very good start for you.

The more you internalize and commit to these principles, the better your system becomes making your business work like clockwork!

It’s your turn!

Let’s hear it from you. Whatever tips or suggestions you have, I look forward to hearing from you. Remember that the more you share, the more others will learn. Now isn’t that an amazing way to give back to the community? Cheers!

About the author:
Jimmy R. is the Project Manager of Chatbee.com - the number one live chat and outsourcing solutions in the industry. He’s a huge fan of the Coldplay and loves sharing business ideas with like minded people.

image credit: fridaysfounder

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