WholeLife Matrix: Financial Viability – Marketing / Sales
“Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” —Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO”
Starting a new business is an exciting time. But as the business unfolds, business owners can face a variety of challenges. By knowing how to handle these challenges, they can avoiding common mistakes and make the path of business ownership a smoother journey. Here are some tips:
At the beginning of a new business, as the owner, there are many things that you need to do yourself. You should understand every aspect of your business but you do not need to become an expert at every area. Focus on doing the things that you are best at and the areas of your business that will create the most value. Hire other people to do the work that is not your specialty. You should know the processes in your business and how much time you are spending on each area of your business. By knowing this, you can determine what areas may need more attention or improvement.
When hiring people, take your time to choose the right candidate and hire the best candidate that you can afford. Lay out the details of what you want to find to attract the right candidate and create rules for how you will disqualify candidates. Do not hire someone simply because they are a friend or relative, hire someone who is right for the job.
If you choose to have a business partner, make sure that your visions for the company are in alignment. It is also good if you fill each other’s weaknesses to balance each other. Have a partnership agreement and discuss how you will deal with tough times. How will you handle disagreements? You can set ground rules for the decisions that you choose to implement and establish a way to measure how well a decision that you are implementing is doing. If it is not working well, at what point will you stop implementation? You should also have a way to end your partnership agreement if it is not working.
Get customer feedback on a regular basis. This feedback can be very valuable for knowing if you are providing something that is actually wanted or needed by customers and it’s a good way to find out if you need to change or improve a product or service. There may be times when you need to let go of a business or idea that is not working, so it is best to not get too attached to them. Instead of trying to make a product that is all things to all people, which can dilute value and is not good for you or your customers, create products that fill a niche and are unique and specific. When you are clear about you product or service and who your market is, you can get very good at what you do and raise the level of your service.
You should have an idea of who your competition is and what they do, but do not spend time obsessing over the competition or copy them because this actually reduces the things that set you apart from your competition and distracts you from your unique path. Become aligned with your vision and goals. There is enough business to go around so focus on providing good value to the clients or customers that you do get.
One of the most common reasons that a business may not succeed is because it runs out of cash. For certain businesses, it can take longer to turn a profit than the owner may realize. A common mistake is buying more inventory than is needed, which uses up cash. Another mistake is putting too much or too little back into the business, or growing too fast and not being able to fund the growth. Have a good accounting system in place so that you know your numbers and can make good decisions for your business each month.
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