Here are Lord Sugar’s top five tips for business owners and how to build them into day-to-day business activity.
1) Know your numbers
As Lord Sugar puts it, “If you don’t know your numbers, you don’t know how well the business is doing or why, and you can’t lead the change/strategy it needs to be a success. It’s as simple as that.”
He makes an important point. Watch any episode of Dragons’ Den and you’ll hear investors proclaiming their horror at entrepreneurs who don’t have a grasp on their numbers, and for good reason.
Having an in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of your company’s finances is one of the basics of good business practice. Without this, it’s impossible to make informed decisions based on previous successes and failures, or to plan an effective strategy for the future.
Schedule an hour or two to review the company finances at least every fortnight and note any important trends or stand out figures for evaluation at a later date. If you have a financial director, they should already be doing this, but it’s vital that you have regular contact with the numbers, too.
2) Know their numbers
Every business is influenced to some extent by another party; be this a supplier, a customer or a competitor. It’s essential that you know their numbers as well as you know your own because promotes strategic and successful business relationships that are founded on confidence.
As Lord Sugar puts it, “Even just having a basic understanding of a company’s credit rating and financial status can alert you to potential issues and arm you with the knowledge you need to form a more secure relationship, based on trust and transparency.”
Due diligence, the process of finding out this financial information about another company, may sound like a laborious task but with online financial data sites, business owners can quickly gain an overview of a company’s financial status from figures such as their credit rating and net worth. This information can then be used to identify and resolve any potential issues before they can affect the working relationship.
3) Build relationships
Productive connections between companies and the people that run them are at the heart of any successful business activity.
As Lord Sugar says, “Never be so sure of yourself that you think you don’t need anyone else. Treat others with respect and when the time comes, that relationship will have a positive impact on your business.”
Continue reading more of Lord Sugar’s tips on page two…
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