You know how really smart people run their businesses? Everyone has a business colleague that they admire; most have several. It is just something about the way they run their business; it's just smart. You admire them because they are running their business the right way and you wish you knew the magic formula. Here are a few ways I think that smart people run their businesses.
You know how it can be difficult to get a hold of a decision maker? It's not because they are so important that they don't want to talk to you, they just know how to stay focused on important business tasks. Smart business owners handle what they are good at and outsource their weaknesses to other professionals or employees. They understand that they can't do everything and that surrounding themselves with people that are smarter than they are is important. Great business owners stay focused on the big picture. Most importantly though smart business owners know how to execute in every aspect of their business.
By The Numbers
Smart business owners run their business by the numbers. They understand that solid bookkeeping and financial management is the key to succeeding in business. Great business owners know that small business financial reporting is important even to the very small business. Business owners that operate without analyzing their financial reports are literally running their business blind. Most business owners create a budget and forecast, but smart business owners use their budget to keep their business on track. Smart business owners analyze their financial reports and look at financial ratios to guide their business. All successful business owners will tell you that financial management is absolutely crucial if you want to grow your business.
As a small business owner it never seems like there is enough time in the day. There is not enough time in the day to do everything yourself and smart business owners realize this early on in their career. They understand that in order to run a successful business you must be a good manager and delegator. Smart business owners are extremely efficient. They are really good at getting the most out of their time. Getting distracted by email and small operations issues can throw your entire day off. Great business owners know how to efficiently manage their time and their calendar to ensure that they are successful.
A solid and detailed set of processes is the key to scaling a small business. A lot of small businesses don't put together a set of formalized processes because they either lack time or money. They don't see it as important since it is a non-billable activity, but spending time working on your business is incredibly important. A good set of formal business processes makes your business sustainable. Most people plan to grow their small business, but don't often think about their exit plan or what would happen if they unexpectedly died. A good business process will allow your business to run itself, which will naturally promote strong growth for your business.
There is no magic formula for being a smart business owner because everyone runs their business differently. Each successful business owner will give you a different view of what you need to focus on. However, the above list is what I have learned through my own business experience and through helping hundreds of other small business owners become successful.
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