What makes great business/businesses?

Being a young entrepreneur with a few businesses under my belt, finding the perfect recipe seems to always be my concentration. I know “perfect” is never attainable but finding that mesh between employees, cash flow, incoming clients and all else that moves a business forward seems to always be a dying effort.

For instance, my most annoying hindrance, employees. I’m not saying all employees but those employees who take 90% of my time. I’m a big believer in the old saying “10% of employees take 90% of your time.”

My biggest company has at the moment about 10 employees, which in the midwest, is not terrible for a small business owner but the 10% rule basically breaks down to 1 employee always being a distraction and causing trouble for everyone else. When I first started my companies, I assumed that because we are all adults we will conduct ourselves as such. I didn’t bog employees down with rules or time schedules. I offered flex times and many other perks some employees would only dream of. To my surprise (the first couple of times), every time I did not have written documentation of rules instead of just having them be expressed, the employees (mainly the bad egg), would abuse their freedom beyond belief.

I know many of you think that getting rid of a bad egg would be the best alternative. That, in itself, has been done as well.

End Pointless Rant.

Back to the discussion at hand. What makes great business/businesses? Ill answer it clear and simple. The people.

Not just the employees but also the customers because without great support for what you are doing, business couldnt exist in the first place.

Despite my previous rant. I believe my enployees and their “happiness" reflects my business success. When I had my right hand employee ask to go down to 4 days a week in order to help a family friend in need, I didnt hesitate because I knew that giving her that privilege would repay me in her work later down the road.

Through employee spiffs like early days for time above the normal 40, bimonthly work events, and scattered lunches here and there, I think that employees can see their worth in working for you because you make them feel wanted by investing in them.

For a young entrepreneur with a total of 8 or so employees, I know that there is much to be learned but managing individuals is something that will never be mastered because like a business plan, it is a living organism that changes sometimes rapidly, sometimes not as rapid as I wish.

This is my first posting, and somewhat short at that but I would love to hear the thoughts of all the readers. What do you feel makes great business? Do you think Im ignorant or not? Why so?

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