There are four basic rule that I work with:
1 Be of use
2 Do not hesitate to give
3 Avoid complications
4 Do not lag.
I do not do mission statements or plans for the success of my business. That’s trash!
Although, I love business and I even love having mine, I do not like the idea of having stated rules on “how to run a business”
That’s the reason I made my rules!
The specificity of my rules are capable of giving me purposeful directions but they are also subject to change. I find easiness in memorizing them (honestly, no matter how hard I try, I cannot memorize a 32-page book, I tried but found it difficult although the subject matter was amazing).
Given that I have seen two key focuses in my career, the first being graphic design and then photography, the rules have continued to apply. The good thing about them is that they do not dictate or prescribe, this means that they are still subject to my thoughts. (Nothing can remove thinking from my business).
I use these rules to make decisions. A lot of people do not really place much priority on decision making. Refusing to make a decision is the same as refusing to take an action. When faced with a situation that requires you to choose between yes and no or between do and don’t do, you are not moving forward until you take a decision. So, your ability to make a good decisions for your business is very important. (“Good decisions”, not “right decisions” you never know which is right until later).
Now to the rules.
1. Be of use
One focal thing about my identity and my responsibility is my need to help others. And it’s not entirely altruistic either. I feel good whenever I realize that I am of use. My usefulness pays when I solve important problems.
Usefulness to me means creativity. Typically, first for myself, and then for others too.
Whenever I have a product idea, that’s the way to test it: what would be it’s usefulness? Not generally, but specifically for the small set of persons is was created for. Would there be a change in their business? Finance? Mentality? If the answers is yes, then it has passed the first rule! I can move on.
2. Do not hesitate to give
I like free things(not always), I spend more time on them than I do on paid things(…..). My weekly readings, deliveries and so on. I love the fact that even of someone can never purchase something from me(Probably because they do not want it or because they can not afford it or just cause I don’t worth their money) I can still give them something.
There is always a free portion of every paid product I create. Something that ordinarily did not deserve the use of money. It could be a video talking more about the product or an email series or even a part of the product houses free giving.
First off, I do this because it’s one of the surest ways of building a relationship with my target audience. Secondly, I do it to give them a taste of what they should be expecting from the product. If they don’t like it, then no harm, no foul, there was no monetary transaction. If they do, maybe they’d purchase it and I’ll make some cash.
3. Avoid complications
I do not think I have the level of smartness needed to manage complications. My company deals with only one type of business and it is the only way I deal with the avoidance of complications. I do not hold responsibility for other people (nor their pay cheques). I am responsible for only myself and I do not have to manage anyone.
I make sure I reduce every complications for every product idea I think of. From the building to the launching and everything else. I’ve stopped the furtherance of many products because of their complexity. I do a hell of beta testing my products before taking them out to the public.
The simpler the product, the easier to support (I have of customers waiting for my products). Simple products require ease in building then. They do not take years, if they did, they creators would not make money from them at all. Simple products mean simplicity in comprehension. If I cannot tell someone why he or she needs it in two to three sentences, I have, sadly, failed.
4. Do not lag
This is indeed the least enjoyable rule (if rules could be enjoyed). As a business person, you have to always be aware of everything. I mean, everything. Here are few of the items that must be tracked, all from my head:
- Money coming in and money going out. I would not want government officials banging into my abode asking for my records from 5 years ago and I’m like “what did you say?”. I love to know if I’m being owed. So, my sales, my purchases, my debts, I like to know everything about them. Of course, I’ll store them in a not-too-complicated way I.e. a simple spreadsheet.
- Marketing efforts. Do well to make sure that everything you take out to the public goes well. Let your target audience have a good perception about your product.
- Getting more knowledge. Most people see this as competition but trust me, learning new thing angles is important. I spend hours learning new things.
Most of the time , we get too busy with works and forget to keep track of the on-goings of our business. For short-term, it’s good(since doing business = money!) but long-term it really difficult to know what’s going on if you do not keep track.
My whole business strategy made into four rules.
I follow them to know keep track. Success is not guaranteed all the time, but I’m happy I’m making the best decision!