This post proposes six guiding principles for businesses. They have been written with small and large organizations in mind and are based on my experience and the advice I got after the first edit of this post: Scratch your own back, execute brilliantly, mind the money, your team is king, customers are your best asset, kill bureaucrazy, question tradition and embrace agility.
Scratch your own back.
Solve common problems that stand without a solution or have one that you can improve. When running a business, creativity is a bit overrated: you don’t need to come up with the next hula-hop.
Bonus: Watch the film ‘The Hudsucker Proxy’! This film, by the Coen brothers, was made in 1994 and talks about business. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110074/
The best way to run a successful business is to take a good idea and execute it in a brilliant way.
Ideas are the seed of a business, but alone are worth nothing at all. A brilliant idea that is never executed is much less of a business than a mediocre idea executed brilliantly.
The best things in life are free, but you need money to run a business: get it, keep it.
Keep finances in mind at all stages of your business planning and in all you do in the long run. An easy rule is to not spend more than you can get, but unfortunately sometimes you’ll need to risk and get external investment, ask your bank to give you a loan or pull up your socks and make a risky move – like expanding or changing your business model.
Your Team is
your best asset. King*
Hire people with potential (those who are motivated, curious, have insight, engage and are determined). Help your team members release this potential in your business by keeping them happy and supporting their expression and growth.
I read about potential hiring on the article ‘21st century talent spotting’ by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz in the Harvard Business Review of June 2014.
Customer is King. Customers are your best asset.*
In everything you do, think of your customer’s happiness. After all, without customers you’ll have no business, and unhappy customers are prone to leave.
You want customers to have a great use experience in all the stages of their relationship with you, and you want your customer service to be five stars.
It doesn’t matter what you offer – treat every customer as if you were selling them diamonds.
Kill bureaucracy, question tradition, embrace agility.
Too many times a business is constrained to develop its full potential because of old fashioned or cluttered processes. Take advantage of automation technology to kill reporting chains, get rid of repetitive tasks, speed up form filling and processing or keep records. You can read more about the tools I use in this blog post
*Thanks to Jan Lehnadt for the edit. Wherever you stole it from :).