A recent article adds a modern business spin to our most basic set of rules. On the American Express forum, Barry Moltz writes about The 10 Commandments of Growing a Business. Many of these are concepts we at Silver+Goren stress weekly in our posts. There are definitely some lessons to be learned – or stressed again – and we think it’s useful to pass them along. Moltz’s 10 Commandments include:
- Thou shalt watch thy cash flow. The most important financial statement to review monthly is the cash flow statement. Do you have more money at the end of the month than the beginning?
- Thou shalt have a brand strategy. Think through the actual pain your business solves and craft a memorable brand around that message.
- Thou shalt not grow thy company broke. Many entrepreneurs try to grow their companies too fast without the cash, people, systems or infrastructure to do it effectively. In the end, they eventually go broke.
- Thou shalt keep thy current customers happy. Many entrepreneurs are so busy chasing new customers in the front doors, they miss their existing customers exiting out the back.
- Thou shalt keep thy overhead low. Entrepreneurs go out of business because their fixed overheads are too high as their revenues fluctuate.
- Thou shalt guard thy reputation and not speak badly of thy neighbour. In the Internet world reputation is your most valuable asset. Watch and listen to what customers say about you and never directly criticize your competitors.
- Thou shalt get referrals from existing customers. Too many times entrepreneurs do not ask satisfied customers for referrals.
- Thou shalt reward outstanding employees frequently and fire bad employees immediately. Everyone in your organization knows who the good and bad people are. It’s up to you to do something about it.
- Thou shalt review thy financial statements monthly. Find an accountant who can explain them in terms you can understand.
- Thou shalt take an annual vacation to recharge. This is necessary, not just to recharge yourself but to see how your business does without you.
A great overview, and even some overlap with those original two tablets. As Chartered Accountants working with Canadian small businesses we have found that the small businesses that follow most of these commandments have a much higher likelihood of success. Of course, nothing is guaranteed. But just as living by a few simple guidelines can help us in life, following another set can help in business. By demonstrating the type of vision, focus and discipline inherent in these commandments, you go a long way to increasing your chances of success.