Damien O’Brien’s Top Ten Business Tips

1.What Motivates You

Why did you start the business in the first place?

  • What are your own goals that you are working towards
  • Take some time out to visualise what you really want to achieve
  • Google pictures that represent what you want to achieve. The more visual the better. This will help you to stay going when you need the extra motivation
  • Put a time line on the goals you want to achieve. Without a time line they are just a dream, unlikely to be achieved

Be Passionate about It

Life is too short to work at something you dislike doing.

  • If you have to work at something you don’t like doing, start planning the date you intend to stop doing it.
    • Your exit plan will help you stick it out until you can get on with what you really want to do.
    • More businesses fail because the owner manager does not enjoy the work anymore.
  • Your tone will set the tone for those around you.
  • If you love what you do you will attract people who enjoy it too.

2.Vision is Key

I know, I know…every business book you read tells you that you should have one and most people think that is just for big Corporates but trust me you really need to have one, irrespective of the size of your business.

  • A vision sets out the long term goal for your company
  • Your vision represents the point in the future you are aiming to reach
  • It helps to keep you focused!

3.Create your Business Values

Did you ever find a situation when you were working with someone and they offended you some how… It could be just that they were late for the meeting or said something inappropriate to you and something inside you said that that was just not acceptable…it’s likely they offended one of your core values without you even knowing it.

  • If you’re in business and you have people working for you and you want them to work with the same ethos as you then you got to set out what your core values are
    • Write them down.
    • Communicate them
    • Live by them
    • Most of all hold people accountable to them.

4.Know the Purpose of your Business. 

This sounds like a strange thing to state but this helps you explain to others what your business really does.

  • It also helps other to describe your business to other people.
  • It is the basis of a great tag line!!

5.Set out Short term, Achievable Business Objectives

These objectives should include

Financial (turnover, profit)
Customer (which existing customers to grow (and how), which customers to target (put names on them if possible)
Marketing (2 or 3 specific marketing activities to achieve the above)
Efficiency (2 objectives to reduce costs or improve efficiency)

6.Tier your Existing Customers

7.Know who your customers are and I mean really know them…

  • Create 4 tiers (you can decide the amount of tiers but don’t have too many).
  • Each tier should represent a revenue amount, i.e: Tier 1. €50k +, Tier 2. €30-50k. Tier 3. €10-30k. Tier 4. €0-10k.
  • There should only be a few tier 1’s. 3 is a nice number here… If u have too many, then change the value settings of your tiers..

8.Analyse the Tiers.

  • Look for trends within the tiers.
  • Are they made up of a certain type of customer? If so that’s great it will help you identify specific marketing channels to win more of them

9.Measure Activity

What gets measured gets done.

  • Decide on the few key metrics, 3-5 metrics is about right but you decide how many.
  • Definitely include a financial metric (profit (gross or net), costs (cost of sales, unit production costs), contribution (bottom line revenue).
  • The rest of the metrics can be anything you feel is important enough to focus on.
  • Make sure everyone knows you are looking at these figures because if they know they are important enough to you then they are important for them.
  • If possible develop a dashboard of these metrics and communicate them regularly (daily, weekly, monthly)

10.Constantly Develop Your Own Skills

Investing in your own skills will be the best investment you will ever make. It will pay you back in multiples. You never know what you don’t know!

  • You don’t have to go back to college
  • There are great one day programmes on all subjects imaginable.
  • There are loads of group based development programmes that you could get involved in.
  • Read a book, even one every two months. I guarantee that you will find at least one nugget that will improve your business.

 

“Do what you love…. Love what you do…. Deliver more than you promise!”

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