If you’ve been running your own company for a long time, then you probably have a great handle on how to get things done. But what about the finer points in business, like how to respond to customers or how not to mix up your personal and work emails?
There are plenty of pitfalls for new entrepreneurs — which is weird for business owners because we’re supposed to be experts at screwing up. This is why I’m going to start a series of blog posts about long-time business people and their advice on being good at their job.
Being in charge of the day-to-day operations of your own company doesn’t mean that you should be afraid to delegate.
“It’s your company not mine,” doesn’t work. As an entrepreneur, you are managing the business. So really, there are very few days that you have to personally deal with something. I have someone to deal with it 100% of the time. It could be myself or my wife or a partner – someone must be in charge and it can’t always be you! And as an entrepreneur you need to delegate and actively manage so that everyone is comfortable and has the tools they need to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Create a plan for your company, and then find a way to execute that plan each day.
The best way to make sure everything falls into place is by creating a plan in the first place. Then, implement that plan each day. For example, if you’re managing an eCommerce company, have a very detailed plan for all of your marketing activities. Chances are you’ll need to do some focused marketing efforts at different stages in your business — like when you’re just starting out and when you have lots of growth. Figure out what kind of activities are necessary at each stage and once again implement those plans on a daily basis.
When you have a successful company, don’t neglect the importance of checking in with everyone daily and expressing gratitude.
As an entrepreneur, it is important to have a great idea about what your company can accomplish on a daily basis but it’s even more important to ensure that all employees feel appreciated. Make sure that everyone knows what they do, why they do it and that their role is acknowledged accordingly because employees are really the backbone of running any business. Acknowledging people’s contributions and being clear with words of praise will help boost morale throughout your company.
You don’t need to figure everything out on your own.
As an entrepreneur, there’s a tendency to want to do it yourself but that is not the best way to run your company. If you are trying to figure something out and you can’t do it, rest assured that someone out there can and if they have the right expertise then use them! And if they don’t, then find someone who does. It is better for your business in the long run to delegate certain things than it is for you to try and do everything yourself.
Be entrepreneurial within your company and be entrepreneurial outside of it.
You are probably an entrepreneur because you want to create a business that makes a difference on your terms. And you should be entrepreneurial within the company with ideas that you try out and bring in — but don’t be afraid to also have those same entrepreneurial ideas outside of the company as well. There are many benefits to being an entrepreneur outside of a business including the fact that it can help you learn about new areas, develop lots of great connections and get great recommendations for ways to improve your business. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean staying small — it just means being creative!
Take care of yourself first.
Take care of yourself first and then take care of your employees. Your employees will appreciate it and your business will benefit from it. Don’t work 70+ hours a week because you don’t want to miss the birth of a new child. Set boundaries for yourself if you have to, but recognize that entrepreneurs are usually very positive, hard-working people. Just make sure that you spend time with the people that are most important to you and not only recognize the hard work they do — but show them appreciation and love!
When others ask for advice on being an entrepreneur, listen to them and not just what you know already.
The best way to gain experience and knowledge in entrepreneurship is by talking with other entrepreneurs and listening to what they have to say. When someone asks you for advice, listen intently before giving it. Later, when that person has followed your advice, go speak with them and tell them that you were wrong on a few things. Tell them what they did right and be honest about what you got wrong. This feedback will help both of you determine ways the next entrepreneur might listen to your advice on being an entrepreneur a little better than the last one did!
Choose which skills are most important for your business but don’t neglect others in favor of an easy skill.
You should know what skills you need for your business the most but don’t neglect others in favor of an easy skill. If you need a marketing expert, get one and continue to learn about it yourself while also figuring out how to delegate the work. The truth is that if you’re an entrepreneur, then it’s likely that you aren’t always going to be able to do every single thing in your business. Try and get resourceful with other members of your company by empowering them and encouraging them on certain tasks.
It’s okay to be a jack-of-all-trades but don’t neglect others from learning their own skills.
It’s okay to be a jack-of-all-trades but you can’t neglect everyone else from learning their own skills. It is important that you make time for others to learn skills that they are less proficient in and encourage them to do so as well. Encourage them to become great at what they do and this will help make your business even more successful in the long run. Don’t always think that you’re going to be able to handle every single thing yourself.
Don’t trust the Internet too much.
You should always trust your gut when it comes to what you read online, but don’t be afraid to question things that are too good to be true. Just because someone says they can do something doesn’t mean that they actually can do it for you. The truth is that there are a lot of scammers out there and it could cost you a lot of money if you don’t look around carefully enough. Be cautious when dealing with others who might not know what they are talking about and you will be fine.
Don’t completely disregard your gut just because someone has a great story.
Don’t completely disregard your gut just because someone has a great story. The truth is that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Don’t fall for the hype and always learn how to see through it. You should never buy into the hype and you have to be careful who you trust online. Sometimes it could be helpful but other times, it can lead you down a bad path that can end up costing you a ton of money in the long run.
Have a backup plan in case your product doesn’t sell.
You should have a backup plan in case your product doesn’t sell. You don’t want to get stuck with products that you can’t sell and don’t want to be out of money. It is always important to have a backup plan in place so that you don’t get stuck having to deal with products that aren’t selling or worse, ending up having an empty inventory.
Have a process for what you are going to do when someone is interested but not ready to buy right away.
It’s hard to find the right people that are interested and ready to buy so it is important that you have a plan in place for what you will do when someone comes in and has questions or needs help. It is also important that you are consistent with your process so people know that they can approach you when they want and you’ll be able to help them out the same if not better than before.