In the fast-paced world of business, you have to keep your eye on the ball or you'll lose out on opportunities rather quickly.
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Day-to-day toil shouldn't distract you from certain practices that will not only keep your business afloat, but are essential in making it thrive.
Here are five things no entrepreneur worth their salt should ever neglect:
This is a basic no-brainer. You must continually and periodically look at your numbers and make sure you have accounted for even your smallest operational expenses. Keep a record of each purchase and disbursement. Did you account for your electric consumption? What about gasoline? Heating? Tracking all these things will give you an idea how much further you have to go before you're in the black.
2. Exploring Other Options
Put simply, an entrepreneur must never forget to be flexible. Innovate. Explore other options. Sitting on your laurels does nothing but flatten them.
3. Cultivating Your Customers
Just down the street from me sits the Chapman Coffee House. It had a perfect location, perfect name, and a perfect position for a target audience. Today, a large "For Sale" sign sits on its window. It failed in nine months. Why? Put bluntly: because their customer service stank. They maintained few loyal patrons, and I was quick to see the business was floundering. Be polite, acquire feedback on how customers like the product, and listen open-mindedly to their comments and criticism. Always try to do that little extra for them, because it's easier to keep a customer than to find a new one.
4. The Importance of Unwinding
Richard Sanz, owner of Tea Square — a cart/kiosk operation selling fresh-brewed and natural iced tea in malls — says it best:
"Maintain a proper balance. Entrepreneurs have tendency to focus too much on their business, that they end up neglecting other aspects of their life. It's very difficult, but I strive to strike a balance between work and family, activity and rest, worldly and spiritual pursuits. It would be very ironic if you spend most of your time working but end up losing the people whom you are working for."
To some, this may sound strange, considering that business is by nature competitive. Share stories and the secrets of your business success. Why not? Surely you received advice from someone wiser in the ways of the industry at some point.
Sharing success stories means more people may be inspired to become entrepreneurs. More entrepreneurs translates into more business and companies. More companies equals more jobs. The economy flourishes and everyone benefits.
The best entrepreneurs know how to share. That's why their coffers are never empty.