12 Things You Don’t Want To Hear About Running A Business

The experience of running a business is full of highs and lows, a range of experiences, some synonymous and others contradictory: exhilarating, challenging, creative, satisfying, frustrating, exhausting, and more. In their enthusiasm and passion, a business owner encounters realities they might rather not. However, some experiences cannot be avoided while one must prepare for others.

  1. Delegation and trust enhance healthy company growth. As a company grows, the business owner must learn the art of delegation and imbue company culture with shared trust. By hiring the best candidates; defining clear roles; instituting systems; and trusting each staff member to perform their role, a business owner ensures their success.
  2. You must work for today and plan for everything else. While your business’ daily operations are progressing smoothly or even if they are not, spend time creating rainy day funds and contingency plans. Set aside time with your key administrative staff finding solutions to “what if” scenarios and documenting them for future reference.
  3. Partnerships bring benefits, but they can also bring burdens. Choosing a mutually beneficial partnership can offer growth opportunities, open new lines of business, and expand capital and concrete resources. They also pose a challenge if the partnership proves a mismatch. A poor partnership, not clearly defined or poorly understood, lends itself to progressing with great difficulty—costing more than its worth.
  4. Great business and sales people see opportunity in rejection. When pursuing sales and clients, rejection occurs from time to time. The difference between successful and unsuccessful sales people and business owners lies in what they do following a rejection. The successful look for opportunities, ways to change their approach for success with the next prospect. They constantly learn from their mistakes and immediately seek their next client.
  5. You have to manage your clients with a well wielded “No.” Trust your knowledge and experience when addressing difficult client situations. A successful business person knows how to artfully say, “No,” to a client then reinforce it with the voice of authority and experience.
  6. Failure is inevitable. Fail forward. All businesses encounter less than desirable outcomes at some point. When you do, build on the experience. Analyze everything that happened, seek solutions to the problems which led to failure, and apply them in the future.
  7. Guarding your creative spark is important. As an entrepreneur, you possess creative vision. The daily responsibilities of running a business can infringe on your ability to apply this trait. Time to dream big keeps a business moving forward. Carve out time in your schedule to relax and envision the future of your business as well as new endeavors.
  8. Record keeping, record keeping, and record keeping. Good records save time and headaches. If a discrepancy in a transaction arises, good records allow its easy correction. If the company stands accused of a crime, good records can exonerate it. Record keeping poses a challenge to even the most successful organizations. It needs to be part of a series of systems which undergo regular updates as needed. Ideally, some components of the system are automated to simplify maintaining and tracking records.
  9. Worker engagement keeps the company balanced and dynamic. Allowing workers some say in the way a company operates gives them a vested interest in the company’s success. By setting up groups within the company, committees or councils which discuss company and worker needs as well as propose solutions, a company also remains vibrant and innovative.
  10. You have to get financial advice. Businesses use many tax deductions to offset their costs. Some assumed deductions, salary, work wardrobe, lunches, vehicles used for work, and computers purchased during a workday, may not actually be eligible for tax credit. Check with your accountant before you make any financial decisions, when it's time to do your taxes and at any other time where you aren't a financial expert!
  11. Know your value and the value your company offers. While it may be expedient to offer a discount to get clients in the door, it may not serve your business in the long run. To stay in business, seek out the next and higher paying client. This means knowing the value of your product or service and charging it every single time with discounts as the exception. Then performing above and beyond expectations to retain their business.
  12. Client acquisition continues even after a client is signed. Not only do you need to continue to court your clients once they sign, you must maintain an ongoing funnel of potential clients. Split your time strategically between client maintenance and client recruitment.


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