Are You Following These Five Entrepreneur Rules Religiously?

By Randall Orser | Small Business

Entrepreneurship is erratic and unpredictable, so rules are crucial. Rules give you a groundwork to work from, that will serve as a guide for when the optimal direction seems uncertain. Your first step to be a successful entrepreneur is figuring out and remember those rules. Here are five rules worth remembering.

Tools

Every business needs tools of some sort. Whether it’s rows of machines, or just a single computer. No matter what technology you are using, it’s absolutely important to keep them well maintained. Actually, maintaining what you have now may be more important and feasible than struggling to get top-of-the-line equipment.

You can keep replacement costs down by maintaining equipment, which leaves revenues free for other important expenses. Being vigil on maintaining your equipment lowers breakdowns keeping productivity high. Of course, that’s not just physical maintenance. It’s also keeping your hard drive free of files you no longer need, so you aren’t buying new hard drives.

Business Before Emotion

As an entrepreneur, your passions and desires matter. They keep you going when you’re tired and facing mountains of work ahead. Sadly, too many startups fail because the leader confuses passion for intelligence.

Passion is important; however, it should never determine how you run the business. Passion is the “why” of your business. It brings you to the office and drives you forward. When it comes to actually making decisions, you need to let the numbers and your head do the work.

It’s not just passion that can be a problem. Entrepreneurship is naturally stressful, and there are lots of times where your buttons get pushed, sparking sadness, anger, joy, and more. These emotions can push you into making decisions in the heat of the moment, which is dangerous. Positive emotions are just as dangerous. Using joy to make a decision is just as bad as giving in to anger. In the end, you’re making a decision that wasn’t made through careful thought.

Partner only with People Who You Trust

For a lot of startups, taking on a partner may be unavoidable. You are only one person no matter how brilliant you are as an entrepreneur. You’re only able to do so much, and you may only be able to afford to delegate so much. You may need more authority than an average employee for certain things, and that authority may need to be equal to your own. Some things just need a partner.

However, don’t just let anyone be your partner. You want to fill in the gaps of your skillset to increase value, however, they need to be trustworthy. After all, you’re sharing the reins with this partner. If you can’t trust them to have the same goals as you, then they don’t deserve tht power and responsibility.

Preparation

Entrepreneurship isn’t something that lends itself to improvisation. Products and sales don’t just magically appear because you did something on the fly. They happened as you were prepared for them. You determined your target market and what they wanted out of your offering and focused on developing towards those needs.

Not sure what to do next or you’ve somehow managed to clear your to-do list, prepare. Something is always coming up that needs attention and need to figure out and study. This could be a direction the market is going, or negotiations. Figure out for what you need to prepare, and get ready.

Take Care of Yourself

Do you want to be one of those entrepreneurs who pushed themselves to death? Many have, literally in order to develop a successful business. Many have worked long hours, gave up everything, such as friends and basic hygiene, in order to turn a profit. Sadly, that route usually doesn’t pay off, and, if it does, it’s a costly victory.

You are your most important responsibility. You’re not there for the sake of your business, your business is there to help reach your goals. All the money in the world is pointless if you sacrifice your health and well-being for it.

Entrepreneurship can be confusing, however, having a core set of rules will keep you grounded and going in the right way. The above rules are not the only ones you’ll need, most will come from experience, but these will get you started.

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About the Author

President/CEO Number Crunchers® Accounting Inc. Learn how to just say stuff it to this bookkeeping thing with our 'Just Say: "Stuff It" To Bookkeeping program.