Fire Someone Today
If you don’t fire someone, your inaction is malicious.
You are the reason you are in business; because of your unique talent! Don’t forget the heart of the business is your heart. It’s the reason Bill Gates became “Chief Software Architect” so he could watch over the source code, the heart of the biz. If you don’t care, who will? You can always say, “We are doing it my way.”
Your business is your baby. Be the leading spokesperson for your vision. Passion sells vision. Turn on your reality distortion field.
Make sure your vendors, employees, and customers are taking care of their “babies,” too.
Don’t hire anyone you haven’t interviewed yourself. Hire people who want to do the job and do it well. Hire someone who wants the job…ask, “Why did you apply for this job?”
Cash is king. Profit is important, it is the reason the business exists, but is not more important than cash.
Cash is about opportunity-you can buy things on good deals with it. You get great discounts, sometimes 30 to 50%. Securing a line of credit when you do not need one, for the day when you do, is another way you can build a cash safety net.
Quality, Price, and Service – pick one or two and focus on them, but not all 3 or you’ll be spinning in circles.
To expand the triangle of Quality, Price, and Service, you need to stake out a position beyond what anyone else is doing in the industry.
If you focus on service or quality, eliminate any product under $150. If you focus on price, eliminate high-quality items and customer service (like Walmart).
Your accountant should be a pessimist, not an optimist.
Reviewing your expenses and increasing your margin should be an ongoing process. Often you’ll find 5 to 15% hiding in your books. Negotiate with your vendors and suppliers and customers.
Profit is why you are in business. Profit should be you’re number one goal. Stand firm on profit.
If you are not growing, you are shrinking. Business is a lot like a hot air balloon: is going up or is going down it never stands still. The most important measures of growth or profit and cash. Money doesn’t help build a business or make it grow, money is an accelerant. It’s like gasoline. The only direction you want to go is up because you have to account for inflation, in that fact expenses also go up.
Watch out for the perfect employee, who takes care of everything but leaves everything undocumented. If that person leaves the company then you might be screwed. A good business needs good people and good systems.
*Use a wiki
The one who writes the contracts wins. Develop a library of business contract templates and try to get the first draft out to your client/vendor.
Read. Read news, inspirational stories, technical knowledge, ideas, and about people.
Build a dashboard – don’t fly blind. It should include:
Visit Everyone In Person. There is no better long-term investment then showing up in-person to visit everyone connected with your business. Take the full tour. Visit your suppliers. Your competitors. Your customers (of course). Visit your neighbors.
“You don’t have have to visit all of your business relationships, just the ones you want to keep.”
Press is there if you want it, but you have to tell a compelling story. and call the editors.
In acquisitions, the buyer is the loser.
Buy lunch. If you have local customers take them to launch on a regular basis, build a rotation schedule. If your customers are far away try to arrange your visits to include lunch. You’ll be a popular launch date if you remember two things:
If you skip lunch or eat lunch alone you’re wasting opportunities.
Find exceptional employees – you need an advantage.