Whatever happened to good old-fashioned common sense? It seems that commonsense advice less and less common these days – what with all the technology and tools available to distract and misdirect.
Where businesses are failing isn’t with mastering the extraordinarily complex aspects of business, but with the boring, every day simple stuff. That’s why this post is dedicated to the less common commonsense advice every business needs to master.
5 Pieces of Uncommon Commonsense Advice
#1: Create Space – Idea and implementation are perhaps the two farthest points in the continuum of success. In order to move from idea to implementation, you need to create the space to do that – whether that be in the form of financing or simply making the time in your calendar to manage an influx of business.
Simple yes. But do entrepreneurs forget to do it and plow ahead without first figuring out HOW they are going to implement their ideas? Where this new project is going to live in their already full lives? Yes absolutely. Start by creating space.
#2: Know Your Margins – Everything has a cost – from printing out copies of handouts for your presentation to the time you spend managing the IT. Before you can be profitable, you need to know your margins!
A very big mistake made by very successful (on the surface) companies is not knowing how profitable a particular project is (or isn’t). Imagine that mistake propagated across an entire organization and you can see how even big companies with full client rosters end up losing money.
#3: Learn How to Sell – One skill every business leader must master is the ability to sell. Perhaps once the company has grown big enough, as the CEO, you won’t be on the frontlines selling the product or service, but you will be required to sell people on your vision.
Learn how to sell because every single day you will be selling someone on something – whether it’s selling your shareholders on the new direction for the company or your employees on a new compensation package, you will be selling.
#4: Master Distribution – A common stumbling block for many companies is getting the word out about their latest widget. Focus on how you are going to get your widget out there!
For service companies, mastering distribution means developing reliable lead generation mechanisms that bring in a steady flow of new prospects. For product companies, it likely means a more complex arrangement of channel partners and salespeople.
#5: Grow Your Capacity – The other side of distribution is capacity. Before growing your business, you need to grow your capacity to be able to handle an increase in volume.
What that means depends again on the type of business. If you are a service-based business, that may mean training additional team members. For a product business, it may mean rethinking your entire production model.