People always ask if we have any suggestions for being successful. They question if we can name what we think contributed the most to our success. As one of the major business advisors in Houston, we’d like to share our observations from years of business experience. Applicable for both online and physical businesses, here are our top eleven tips for success:
- Always ensure all of your phone calls and emails get returned. In addition, make a lot of contacts and requests through phone, email, or even in person. We’re absolutely shocked at the number of people who don’t bother to return the request. It’s disrespectful and classless to ignore someone’s request – it disappoints them. When people are disappointed, they let others know you’ve wronged them. The fewer people out there talk bad about you, the better.
- Help anyone who asks. It doesn’t matter what it is (as long as it’s legal) – if someone asks you to assist them and you can, don’t hold back. Whether it requires setting aside some valuable time, writing a check, rolling up your sleeves, or just responding to a question from someone who doesn’t know as much, suck it up and help.
- Try knowing more than most people do about your business or industry. Go to a trade show or seminar every now and then. Participate in forums or discussions, whether they’re online or not. It’ll keep you connected to the people in your industry, making you a guru. The internet is a brilliant tool for getting you there.
- Treat your employees well – because they deserve it. In our business, our employees get away with a lot. They can come and go as they please, get surprise perks all the time, and are well paid. While some take advantage of these, they don’t last long. Being bad to your subordinates always come back to haunt you. It also means that you’ll get hosed. Try to make the workplace as casual, comfortable, and fun as you can. Show your employees by example, how you want them to treat co-workers and customers. They’re going to follow your lead. If they don’t like coming to work, it will show in what your business produces.
- Appreciate everyone who assists you in climbing the ladder – especially those who didn’t gain anything from it. This is another thing that we’re shocked more people have not caught on to. A simple, heartfelt thank you acknowledges the time and effort of these people, cementing them as allies. Trust us: you need all the allies you can get.
- Befriend your competitors. Yes, you’re all competing for customers, but you’re all frogs in the same pot of boiling water.
- Keep your sense of humor – it’s invaluable.
- Over-deliver to your customers. Remind them you’re watching out for their business and treat them as if they’re your friends.
- Get a hobby – race car, motorcycle, hot tub, whatever. You need a transition away from business to your personal self. Ensure you have one. It’ll give your mind a chance to disengage and enable you to background process all you’re thinking about. Transferring information from the conscious mind to the subconscious one is like working out using different muscles – it’ll help you gain results.
- Be very careful who you choose to listen to, but have a go-to team, and defer to someone niftier than you. While people mean well, it takes far less courage to poke holes in someone’s idea than it does to highlight the positive. Try keeping some good advisors around you.
- Don’t give up.
Irrespective of the books you read about getting rich quick, it doesn’t happen that way (most of the time). While some of us make it look simple, it really isn’t – but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.Read More
At TruView Business Advisors, we have years of experience in helping business owners build and sell their businesses. So we’re well aware of what owners have to do to amplify their business value. If you’re putting your business up for sale in Houston, here are some basic questions you should ask.
Are profits being maximized?
A basic problem that is inescapable is that businesses are sold for many different reasons, at the head of which lies profit. Thus, conducting an analysis of various aspects of the business to be able to maximize profits is a crucial area to be focused on. Famous quotations made by the United Kingdom’s team of cyclists ‘gaining the most profit from a business is pretty much the same idea.’
How well is the business run?
Do you possess procedures that customers can view exhibiting how well run the business is? When businesses grow, they end up growing more than the process of management. Factors of the business that need focus upon include people processes, IT systems, Sales pipeline management, management accounts, and more. Further questions to ask include whether or not tax affairs are kept up to date, along with bureaucratic matters and customer contracts.
What is the owner’s role?
If the value of a business is dependent solely upon the intelligence of its owner, then this factor is a disadvantage for the business when being sold. Although the owner does drive and direct the business, they do not have to do everything. Delegation is important, and owners must delegate responsibility to certain key employees in a controlled manner. They must also make sure the processes of management are strong enough to let the process occur flawlessly. One specific area we focus on with our clients is being able to understand how best to delegate responsibility to, such as their top employees. Controls must exist to make sure owners are kept in the loop concerning any problems
How good is the quality of your sales revenues?
For the most part, customer revenues are being invested in by buyers, and they value two basic things. These include a variety of customers and whether revenues recur through maintenance and service contracts, amongst other means, a large part, buyers are investing in your customer revenues. Customers value strong customer relationships, and this is important to understand.
Is it important to have an exit plan?
Yes, ensuring that your business is prepared for sale is very crucial when the thought of selling it comes to mind. Ensure that you give yourself at least 3-4 years to reach the best position for the business, allowing you to make necessary “repairs.” This allows owners to focus on their business and not just in dealing with the daily hustle bustle they normally go through. An important thing to understand is that more time must be spent on the business as opposed to just in the business. This means that owners will focus on business matters that will truly improve their business and allow them to gain a hefty profit when selling their business.Read More