By Steve Marsten
This week we hosted the Gladstone Startup Social group with the support of the Gladstone Regional Council. This is a group of micro-businesses that have either commenced business or are seriously considering how they may go about establishing themselves.
Small business can be a lonely place in the early stages and Tina and I considered the basis on which businesses stay in place for the long term. As many know at Sothertons we are celebrating our 40th Year.
Hence we identified our 8 keys to longevity.
- Have a plan. We work to a concise business plan. It changes regularly especially if something doesn’t work. Tweaking the plan is a natural sign of a good, flexible plan.
- Make sure you have an experienced and trusted team of advisors and be prepared to keep your ego in a box. The most successful business owners listen, learn and action their strategies in a logical process. Accept criticism especially from customers. It’s called feedback. We should never get too precious to receive good feedback.
- Be aware of your key strengths and delegate the rest. This is difficult to do early on however the sooner it happens the faster the business will ramp up.
- One thing we bang on about is you can’t manage what you don’t measure – so make sure you know your key performance indicators and track their progress.
- Know the difference between sales and marketing, otherwise you can waste a lot of money paying slick marketers that don’t actually create customers. Make sure you have a sales process in place. Understand the value of your product or service.
- Technology – understand how it works for your industry and your business. This can be another cash pit and you must get the right balance early on.
- The most important thing in business – know the difference between cashflow and profit. Cashflow is critical to business success.
- And finally, the strength of relationships with your customers, clients, staff and community are what will set your business up for the long term.
At Sothertons we work at establishing these keys with new and existing businesses. Call us on 4972 1300 for more information.