Last year I wrote an article titled “The Rules of Acquisition”.. Below I have re-posted that article to refresh the memory of those who have read it, and to introduce it to those who have not because next week I will be adding additional rules.
The Rules of Acquisition
Anyone who is a Star Trek fan is probably aware that the race the Ferengi are ruled by business, they come from a world that has created an entire society completely wrapped around profit and business and to guide every Ferengi in their life-long pursuit of obtaining profit they created the “Rules of Acquisition” a book of 285 rules which cover just about every situation that you can think of. Some examples of these rules are:
Once you have their money, you never give it back
Opportunity plus instinct equals profit
Nothing is more important than your health, except for your money
The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife
Free advice is seldom cheap
No good deed ever goes unpunished
You are probably asking yourself why I am telling you about a make believe extraterrestrial life and their make believe Rules of Acquisition. Because I have decided that, while the Ferengi and their rules are make believe, all of us in business could use our own Rules of Acquisition; so I have decided to write my own. Now I think 285 rules are a bit much so I will just start with a few and I may add on to them as time goes by. Continue reading
My father told me many years ago when I first went into business that if you have dreams of becoming a big business someday than you need to run your small business like a big business. I asked why? He said because like everything in life habits are hard to break, including those habits you create for your business. If you have plans of growing your small business into a large enterprise someday than the habits you create now will have an effect on your business down the road. Regardless of how small your business is, even if it is just a one man operation, you need to treat it as if it were a large company.
By doing this right from the git-go will help increase productivity, reduce costs, and help your overall business run smoothly. Some things to think about are picking a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program that has the capability of growing alongside your business. Having a multi user CRM that can not only be expanded, if not to an indefinite number of employees than to a large number, but can also be used by multiple employees and in multiple locations is very beneficial to a growing company and there are several out there that can be used online and the cost is relatively inexpensive, most of these charge by the user so you only pay for what you use. Another benefit to a business of any size is to create a paperless system. This is not as hard as it sounds. Throw the fax machine away and get an efax number which allows you to receive faxes via email as well as the ability to send via email and for a very small cost, probably less than you are paying the phone company for a fax line. Scan all paper documents than shred them. By using an efax number many of those docs will never get printed, you will receive and file them electronically. Get a phone system with an auto attendant, there are many companies out there that offer this service and it is much cheaper than you think, and will give you the look and feel of a bigger company.
The bottom line is if you think small, you will probably always be small, and even if you do grow, your growing pains will be considerable, however if you start out operating as a large company than becoming a large company will not be that big of a deal, you will be ready. To become big, you have to think big.
On New Year’s Eve many of you made resolutions for the New Year; some of you vowed to lose weight, some of you vowed to quit smoking, some of you vowed to eat better, etc. As an individual it is always good to attempt to improve one’s self, to strive to be a better person in any variety of ways. Having a personal strategy for self improvement is a positive way to enter not only the New Year, but any time.
The same holds true for a business. In order for your business to be truly successful it needs to grow, it needs to adapt to the environment that surrounds it and it needs new and fresh strategies on a constant basis in order to improve on business processes, marketing, management and more. In today’s business world there is a constant evolution taking place, whether that evolution is in technology, marketing, or just the processes we engage in to run our business, it is something that we need to be aware of. The worse thing for a business is to just stand still, to go nowhere; to be the same old business you were in the past is a decree of execution for a business. It is vitally important to change with the times or you risk being left behind.
We live in a world where everything that we do is dictated by technology; from how and where we check our email or even how we communicate with clients (Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn) to how we receive a fax to the type of marketing we engage in has a huge impact on our businesses. I see businesses that don’t have a website, don’t use email or social media to communicate, don’t use the Internet to market and they are just barely surviving. They are dinosaurs just standing in line waiting to go extinct. Savvy businesses today use every means available to them to communicate with existing clients whether that be email on a smart phone or a tweet to update them and they use technology to gain new clients whether that be Social Media or sending out an Email Marketing campaign.
Take advantage of the New Year and create a new strategy for your business. Look at where you are, where you want to go, and what is out there to help you get there.