Thursday, May 8, 2008

Small Business

Couple of days ago a friend from overseas asked me about investing in a business.
Here are the top ten on my list.
1) Can one commit the time? Half efforts will not do.
2) Determine what business. Get a mentor. Learn everything from the mentor/expert/website/books before starting the business. Acquired technical skills from our mentor. One may need 2-3 years to learn about the business before starting.
3) Location, location, location. No compromise. Do not start if location is not good.
4) Invest for the mid- to long-term. Saving some bucks now may require one to pay more later as the business grow and expansion is on the cards.
5) Be bold. Invest big and but make sure have enough to invest/re-invest when the business grows.
6) Exceed customer expectations all the time, one at a time.
7) Do not go into partnership if not ready. After all one may not need one as it is a small business. It can be emotionally draining.
8) Look after the business cash position. Control credit properly. Business/sales may be good but the gauge is, " Are the rental, salary and other overheads paid on time?"
9) Get good staff. Pay them competitively. Offer them a satisfying career.
10) Usually there are three components to business:
i) The operational staff: Business maintenance. Train them properly esp. the technical work, teach them good habits on the company.
ii) The management: Business preservation. Micro-managing, manage staff, customer-oriented.
iii) The entrepreneur: Business Generation. Marketing, leading, morale boosting, motivating, standard bearer.

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