Are you about to start a new business venture and wondering where and how to begin? Or are you already managing one and looking for ways to improve the business? Below are some “sound” business advice to keep you going. Take what is applicable to you and see how it can help speed things up.

  1. Have crystal clear goals.Most of the time, business ventures are borne out of dreams, drawn by imaginative minds and fueled by passion. All these ideas should be translated into clear business goals. Some businesses start with written mission and vision statements that serve as a compass to the direction they want to take. Realistic business goals should be measurable, doable, and with corresponding timelines. Crystal clear goals are important to help you focus on a single-minded direction.
  2. Do your due diligence. Do your homework. Research, study, ask, and consult people that may know more about your business – the industry, the market, your product or service, your clients. Of course you are not expected to know everything, but you should at least know enough. And keep learning as you go along.
  3. Let integrity be the operational virtue. May it be for someone who is just starting out, or one who has long been in the business – integrity is key. If you intend to stay long in your chosen industry, where everyone knows everyone, keep your nose clean and your reputation impeccable. Keep all business dealings with suppliers, clients, partners, and even competitors honest. This is the only way to develop credibility in your chosen field. Only those with integrity get to stay and become successful.
  4. Hire smart. In anything that you do, it is important that it be a well-thought out, and be a thoroughly-evaluated decision. This includes choosing the right people to help you achieve your business goals. They don’t necessarily have to be the best and the brightest, what’s important is they’re trainable, and are motivated to succeed with you. Choose each member of team carefully.
  5. Realize that sometimes two heads are better than one. No one person has achieved great heights single-handedly. Be smart enough and humble enough to know that you can’t do it alone. Partner with other people or other businesses to strengthen what you already have, and complement your weak points. Again, the choice of business partners should be a well-thought of and evaluated process. Choose your partner well – get one that will definitely be an asset to your business venture.
  6. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Advice on how to address issues are best gathered from people with more experience than you. If you have a mentor, keep going back for guidance and evaluation. If you have none yet, you may want to join a group or network that you can constantly go to for advice. Or avail of the services of a seasoned expert. Learning from other people’s experiences will be beneficial to your business.
  7. Get feedback. Aside from getting advice, it is important to hear what people have to say, positive or otherwise. Be open to comments or suggestions that you can use to improve your products or services. Accept criticisms and turn them into constructive opportunities to better yourself and your business. These are essential to bringing out the best, and delivering the best.
  8. Stick to your budget. Business operations always tend to overshoot on expenses. Sometimes, business owners get carried away and unwittingly spend more than the budget, with the hope of “recovering in due time”. As much as possible, spend within the allowable numbers. Limit your exposure to risk and loss by sticking to the budget. It’s a different story when you’re already earning and raking in profits. But for a new business venture, let your budget be your operational guide.
  9. Commit. No business has succeeded with half-baked plans and half-hearted efforts. For a business venture to grow, you have to put in the necessary effort, sometimes even go beyond what is necessary. Sacrifice has its rewards. Let your commitment to your success see you through.
  10. Don’t limit yourself. Keep going back to that dream that started it all. Imagination and creativity knows no limits. You should be the last person to say “it can’t be done.” Instead, think of ways do things differently, given the challenges and difficulties. For instance, if you want to advertise but lack the budget, explore other ways and means to achieve the same end goals (perhaps take a different route – internet marketing instead of expensive print ads). Don’t box yourself in. Keep your dream alive, and let your passion drive you to succeed.
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Paul Bailey

Paul is a highly experienced Business Coach, Mentor and Personal Development Specialist. He works with people to enhance business and personal performance through a process of supported self-awareness and self- development. Paul is the Co-Author of the book 80 Tips.