What to Know About Running a Business
In this post, you’ll find a unique collection of resources that can help you run your business. Before you get to the resource section further down the page, let’s go over a few issues to consider.
To run a business, you’ll need a lot of common sense and skills related to running a business. The good news is you can learn the skills.
What It Takes To Run a Business
Running a business is a complex process where you need to deal with many tasks.
You are the one running the show, and if the business fails, it’s on you. You are in charge. You can’t blame others. So it’s to you’re advantage to arm yourself with the strongest thing that can help, and that’s information.
When you have the right information, you can do a lot better than running the business blindly. There are thousands of resources on the web that can give you the information you need for that task at hand.
Rather than handling a task head-on, take a few minutes to do some research, and you’ll have a better chance of managing the issue at hand. As time goes on, you’ll gain experience, and you can use that experience for the rest of your life.
When it comes to business, there is always learning involved. Whether it’s online marketing, technology to run your business, or new products and services, there’s always something new to learn. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of consistent learning.
Let’s Go Over a Few of the Issues Involved in Running a Business
Understanding How Your Business Operates
Business is business, and the basics are the same. It gets tricky from industry to industry and when a company grows from a mom and pop shop to a world-class business.
One of the most critical elements of running a business is a thorough understanding of how it operates. Without this knowledge, you won’t be able to run it without running into problems.
When starting out, you may not understand exactly how the business works unless you have worked in a similar business and are going out on your own.
You can buy books, take courses, get an MBA if you like, which are not bad things but to succeed, you need to understand the business you’ll be running to be most effective.
You can always study how a business work by studying a business that is already operational. See An Inside Look Into The Business You’re Considering to get the specific information for the business you’re thinking of starting.
Know Your Products
To run any business effectively, you must know the products you are supplying. Becoming an expert in the brands you supply can give you a leading edge. Not only can you provide advice for your customers, but you’ll know what product to offer and those to avoid.
Understand Your Service
If you provide services, then you need to know how to perform that service and what it takes to provide a quality job. Even if you don’t do the work yourself and have employees who handle the service, you should know every part of the process.
Understanding Your Customers
I have run many businesses in my life. The one thing I always lean towards is to put the quality of my products and services before profits. Sure, you’ll hear the saying, business is about making money, and I agree, but your customers come before your profits.
You’ll be in business a lot longer if you opt to make an honest profit and put your customers first. Most of the time, you’ll make money, and sometimes to keep your customer, you may lose money.
Suppose you don’t understand how your customers think, what they are interested in, what they can afford, etc. How can you provide them with products, services, and cater to their needs? You need to think like your customer before you try and sell them anything. For more, see How to Get to Know Your Customers Better.
Take The Time to Learn
There are many skills you’ll need to run a business. You need to take the time to learn each of them. The best time to learn and practice a skill is when you need it.
For example, if you need to create a budget, you could spend one day learning about budgets and the next day to create one. This would take you two days in total, but you would have a budget you can use in just two days. Even though you would probably need to fine-tune the budget over time, you have a working model.
Next, you could look at another skill you need to work on. You could follow the above example, and in a few months, you’ll have gained a lot of knowledge and experience with the skills you need.
Let’s Go Over a Few of the Skills You’ll Need to Run Your Business:
As a business owner, you must be able to manage the money your business brings in. Many businesses fail due to running out of money before they are profitable. When starting out and as your business grows, you need to watch the costs. Expenses must be kept to a minimum without affecting operations.
Whether you have bills to pay or customer accounts. You must be organized and ensure money comes in on time, and bills are paid on time. Just like your personal credit score, your business credit score is something you want to be in good standing.
You must keep accurate records, receipts, employment records, sales receipts, etc. You will need them for your Taxes, warranties, employees, etc. A filing cabinet, along with a computer program or a hard drive with all your electronic documents organized in folders, will do. It doesn’t matter how you do it as long as it’s a system that works for you and allows you to come up with any document you need quickly.
If you are going to run a business, you must understand marketing. Whether you do the marketing yourself or hire someone to do it, you need to understand it to make rational decisions. It’s to your advantage to learn what it takes to market your business. For more from A Touch of Business.com, see our Marketing Section.
Without sales, your business won’t survive. Therefore you need to know how to make sales. Whether you’re selling big-ticket items, selling a service, or if you’re in retail, you need to know how to close sales and present products and services that appeal to customers. It’s to your advantage to learn how to sell.
Without customers, there is no business, and any operation with poor customer services will soon lose customers. Even loyal customers will stop doing business with you from one mistake you make towards them.
Treat your customers like family and friends. Think of a way you can serve them and cater to their needs, and you’ll find in time, your customer base will grow because of the way they are treated.
Negotiations are a big part of doing business. When you negotiate effectively, you’ll be able to make better deals, deal with customers, suppliers, and employees more effectively. Without negotiation skills, you’ll only get what you’re offered, and sometimes that’s not good enough.
Reading The Market
You’ll need to be aware of the market and your industry. When you keep an eye on world events, world markets, unemployment rates, etc., you may be able to identify how these events will affect your business. Knowing allows you to prepare.
For example, suppose you know a large manufacturing plant in the area is about to close. In that case, you know it will affect your revenue because there is less money in circulation in the area. Therefore you can take steps to prepare for the new reality.
Your communication skills must be good when dealing with people. How do you feel when someone’s communication skill is poor? It’s difficult to explain what you want and difficult to understand the person.
Naturally, when you run your own business, you’ll run into problems. And the better you are at problem-solving, the better off you’ll be.
Imagine ignoring it every problem you come across. The situation will probably get worse and create more obstacles. Compare that to dealing with the issue head-on and finding a solution.
Another benefit of good problem-solving skills is that you can use it for your customers. Suppose you can identify problems your customers have and solve them. In that case, you can offer products and services that your customers want because they want to solve their problems as easily as possible.
As a business owner, you are the leader, and you are the one directing operations. Whether you’re running a convenience store or a multinational business, you are the one in charge. You need to take responsibility for the good and the bad that comes from running the business. Take some time to build your leadership skills. This takes time to develop, but it will be worth it, and it’s a skill you can use in your personal and professional life.
When you start off, you may need to do everything yourself. As your business grows, you may not be able to keep up by yourself, and you will need to hire employees. The good news is you’ll have extra help. The bad news is, along with the extra help, is the added task of managing your employees. This is something you’ll need to take care of, in addition to the other tasks involved in running a business.
There are times you’ll need to plan. For example, if you have a sales event. You need to plan for the best time to have it. You have to plan for the extra inventory, plan for the advertising campaign, etc. Planning is something many business people do regularly. Learn to plan effectively. I’m sure you’ll put it to good use. For more see Working Without a Plan is Planning To Fail!
The more organized you are, the easier it will be to run your business. Unorganized people waste a lot of time and energy looking for things. That’s time and energy you can use to be more productive during your day.
Organize your business to find what you need quickly, organize your files so you can access them anytime you needed. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, organize it in a way that is best for the customer. For you’re employees organize your place of business in a way that will help them complete their work efficiently.
An organized business can be compared to a well-oiled machine. It just works better. See Organizing Your Business Goes a Long Way for more on this topic.
There are only so many hours in a day. You’ll need to effectively manage your time to get all your work completed and have time left over for the other issues that come up. Take some time to brush up on your time management skills to become more productive and in control of your day. For more see our section on time management.
Once your business grows you may find it difficult to do everything yourself and you will need to hire staff. One of the great things about having employees is you can delegate a lot of the jobs that need to be completed without you spending time and effort on them.
When you delegate a job make sure you choose the right person to complete the task and make sure you’re not taking them away from other core duties.
There are a lot of missed opportunities if you don’t delegate. When you learn this skill, you improve productivity immediately. Think of yourself as a planner, make the plan, and get the right employee to complete the work. See, The Art of Delegating for more on this topic.
It takes self-discipline to run a business. Since you are the boss, you don’t have anyone telling you what to do, and there are times you know what to do but don’t feel like doing it. So you can end up with many tasks piling up, and you may get into the habit of letting things go. You need to practice self-discipline for those essential tasks.