Saturday, September 4, 2010

Another 3 tips for your new business venture

In one of my previous articles, I wrote about 5 tips for aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to embark on their business ventures (If you’re interested, you can check out the article here). This article will expand on the original article by introducing another 3 tips for people interested in starting their own business.
Have a great, customer-focused mission statement that people can relate to
A lot of people think that a mission statement is just some nice words put together as a lame attempt for a company to placate its customers or shareholders; and it is, unless you really emphasize on making it a core part of your business culture and always base the decisions your company makes and the activities it performs on how close they get your company to the mission it has established for itself.
Your mission statement doesn’t need to look like it has been written by Shakespeare, something simple will do. Say you’re planning to open a diner; you could maybe have a mission statement that looks something like this: Putting together a combination of fast service, tasty food, and a pleasant ambience that makes our customers feel good. After you have established your company’s mission statement, make sure that the decisions your company makes is relevant to the mission statement, and review your operations from time to time to make sure that they are in line with your company’s mission.
Take care of your employees
I can’t remember the exact quote, but J.W. Marriott once said, “Take care of your employees and they will take care of the customers.”
It doesn’t matter if it’s the Marriott hotel chain or a neighborhood bakery; companies need to take care of their employees if they want to be truly successful. It’s after all the employees that will be the ones making contact with your customers and determining if your customers get a good experience or not, they are the ones that customers talk to, and they are the ones that can either unlock value in your business or destroy the reputation of your business.
Entrepreneurs should strive to build a team of great people around them. To do that, business owners have to do things like: share the wealth, involve employees in the decision making process, promote from within, help employees share in your vision, create a great culture, and etc. There’s no single way to keep your employees happy; but through a combination of incentives, you can retain great, loyal employees.      
Just because we might be starting out small, doesn’t justify us having ideas like: getting a few people to work for us, pay them a few bucks an hour, and watch them closely so they don’t screw up. The faster you put in place the incentives as well as the culture to retain and attract good employees, the faster you will be on track to unlock value in your company, and the easier it will be for you to successfully expand your business without making major overhauls that can be costly.
 Imagine the situation your company will be in if business doesn’t go as planned
While we need to be optimistic about how successful our businesses will turn out, we should also be realistic and think about how our business will fare when times are bad. To do this, simply take away x% from your estimated sales and increase your estimated costs by x%, then ask yourselves these questions: Will your business still break even? What will your return on investment and profit margins be like? What are your company’s plans for growth, now that you have lowers profit to work with?
If you still believe, after answering these questions, that your business venture makes financial sense, then you can consider starting that company.