100 Business Principles You Must Know

Get Results: Business Principles
Get Results: Business Principles

Here is a list of ‘Business principles’ that I have found useful to know over the years so I thought I would share them with you, hope you find them useful…

  1. Look for huge expanding markets – a contracting market means you have to work harder each year to maintain previous revenues and margins. Get your timing right – ahead of trends not behind them for the same reasons.
  2. Provide unique and consumable products . if not unique then you must have a retention strategy, if not consumable then you are redundant until next sale
  3. Pay attention to timing
    • Make sure you business/ product is ahead of trends not behind it.
    • Study what creates trends. i.e. Follow the Baby boomers (1946-1964 18 years, 1 billion worldwide control 65% of all money)as they age, products that fend off aging, retirement issues, wills and estate planning, security and money, efficiencies (making life easier), identity theft detection, now 41-59, concentrate on the 60 year olds not the 42 otherwise you are behind the trend.
  4. Stop resisting progress and technological advancement. Instead be on the front foot and be hungry to find out what’s coming next. Disrupt your own business, look how you can put your existing model out of business. It’s better you do it to yourself than someone else does it to you.
  5. Where are prospective customer’s spending their attention. If you’re business isn’t there, you’re competitors will be cleaning up in your absence.
  6. Have a strong work ethic. Work harder than the competition
  7. Work smarter than your competition. Productivity is about focusing on the activities that have the biggest impact on your business.
  8. Employ others – leverage their time and effort
  9. Identify your market segment and focus on them
  10. Where are the gaps in your market?
  11. Where is the growth and profit?
  12. Look for needs and translate the benefits.
  13. Always answer the prospective customer’s question ‘what’s in it for me?’
  14. Look after the customer – go the extra mile.
  15. Be professional at all times, but it’s okay to be human. People do business with people they like, respect and trust.
  16. Plan your objective.
  17. Ask, listen, sell.
  18. And make your business fun – life is not a rehearsal.
  19. Decide what you do (and what you don’t do).
  20. Decide who you serve (and focus on them intensely)
  21. Decide what makes you different (and do it)
  22. Manage cash flow (very closely)
  23. Manage employees (incentivise them for success)
  24. Set goals (and go for them)
  25. Expose yourself (tell the market what you do)
  26. Persevere (though the tough times)
  27. Always maintain your integrity (in everything you do)
  28. Systemise your business.
  29. Deliver full range of values – which means anything that satisfies needs, including money.
  30. The 80/20 rule – leverage yourself and your resources
  31. Apply principles not formulas
  32. Think with your whole mind – logical and gut instinct
  33. Define success. What is success to you?
  34. Focus on results – effective better than efficient.
  35. Use your “double vision” (long term and short term view)
  36. Keep a healthy perspective – big picture view.
  37. Don’t Compete, Create a Competitive Advantage – How will you compete? What will be your business edge? How can you create a winning business model with an advantage? Like the Grateful Dead, the secret is to find a niche where you can be not necessarily the best but the only. Find out what everyone else is doing and then do something different. Your competitive advantage can be based on a unique skill, intellectual advantage, or by selling at an unusual time or location. The alternative to uniqueness is to be ordinary, and sell the same product at the same price as everyone else, making minimal profits if any at all.
  38. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the purpose of a business is to make money.  But the real purpose of a business is to create value for others.
  39. Trying to sell to everyone is selling to no one. Focus. Don’t waste time trying to sell to the wrong people.
  40. Use financial control to aid your business decisions.
  41. If you’re not already the most expensive in your field, there is room to charge more.
  42. Adaptability. The species that survives, adapts to changing circumstances.
  43. Smell what sells and sell more of it.
  44. Branding and good spelling matters.
  45. Sometimes less is more.
  46. The importance of listening – Listen to what your market research tells you.
  47. Teamwork, creativity, innovation, humility and salesmanship are critical to much of the success in the marketplace. Ego, self centeredness, looking out for one’s self, pride, lack of individual responsibility, and an unwillingness to take risks are reasons for much of the failure in the marketplace.
  48. Perseverance, tenacity, commitment to learning and growing, knowing your market, having a real passion to succeed and understanding your costs.
  49. Plan a retirement date and work on plan of action required to get there.
  50. Its not about who you know but who knows you.
  51. Do what you love – follow your bliss.
  52. Buy items that appreciate in value; rent those that depreciate.
  53. If it sounds too good to be true, don’t jump.
  54. A pressured decision will always rupture.
  55. Fast, cheap, perfect…you can only pick two.
  56. Define your objective(s). find a clear story of cause and effect. Keeping the end in mind increases your chances of success. When planning, work backwards to help identify what you will need to have in place at each stage of progression.
  57. Avoid insanity. Poor processes produce poor results, if something isn’t working, don’t keep doing it again and again.
  58. In business, when things are good they’re not really that good, when they are bad they are not really that bad. Keep a level head, don’t let emotion get the better of you.
  59. Promote your success stories, as story’s.
  60. Stop thinking and start doing. Actions speak louder than words.
  61. Get a business name that explains what you do.
  62. More than simply selling, relationships matter.
  63. The law of supply and demand – Find the demand first then find a way to supply it, at a profit
  64. Find your niche, find your unique selling proposition (USP). Learn how to differentiate your product or service.
  65. Use leverage other peoples, skill, knowledge, money, resources, ideas, time
  66. Look for scalability. If it won’t scale, how can you re-engineer so that it will?
  67. Use lateral thinking to approach a situation from a different angle
  68. Work on your business (system), not in it
  69. Reap what you sew. You’ll get out what you put in.
  70. You have to spend money to make money – speculate to accumulate
  71. Learn to manage cash flow – it is the lifeblood of your business
  72. Understand human nature/ behaviour – the need to seek more/increase and avoid loss/ decrease
  73. Innovate, always be looking to innovate.
  74. Take action, make things happen. You can plan all you like but without “doing the work” you won’t achieve s**t.
  75. Add value to people’s lives by “Uniqueness” – unique value can be charged more for, “Impact” – the degree you improve peoples lives, “Scope” – the number of people you reach, “Perception” – people’s perception of the value you are adding
  76. Say it in 30 seconds or don’t say it at all.
  77. If you can’t explain it simply, you probably don’t understand it well enough.
  78. Know what you know, what you don’t know and who knows what you don’t know.
  79. Look for service/product differentiation – don’t commoditise. If you’re not a brand you’re a commodity.
  80. No one will give you money. Find a starting point instead of an end point, downsize big plans. Find ways to prove your business model on a shoestring budget
  81. Make your expertise narrow and deep rather than wide and shallow.
  82. Don’t fall victim to your own BS. Don’t talk the talk unless you can walk the walk.
  83. Look for win-win situations in all interactions.
  84. Build your weaknesses into your strengths.
  85. Make sure people know about you and your service.
  86. Be lucky. Be open to opportunities related and unrelated, don’t be too focused on one thing. Serendipity and chance come from a higher order, so be open to it.
  87. Focus, focus, focus. Don’t have too many balls in the air at once. Do one thing well rather than lots of things poorly.
  88. Spend 10% of your day thinking about new ways to make money.
  89. Spend 10% of your day networking.
  90. Analysis risk and rewards, take fewer risks as you get older, because you have less time to pull it back.
  91. Spend your money wisely, think Return on Investment, but don’t ignore opportunities to build your brand.
  92. Have fun at work. If it’s not fun, do something else.
  93. Know when to call it quits, but don’t give up too easily.
  94. Know what you do, do what you know. Make use of your skill-set to give yourself a better chance of success.
  95. Act like a startup. Be frugal. Operate within your means.
  96. Sell more by adding variety. People sell more jellybeans when there is an assortment of colours.
  97. Get it in writing, don’t trust anyone. Verbal agreements aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.
  98. Offering something of value to others strengthens your worth. Adding value by providing more value than you take in return.
  99. Know where you stand legally with customers and suppliers, know your rights and ensure your business abides by the rules
  100. Adaptability – survival of the fittest. Status quo doesn’t exist. The Risk from NOT doing something. Often feels safe, hard to visualise missed opportunities. Ask “what will happen if we don’t do it”. Because it has worked before doesn’t mean it will always work.
  101. Trust can take years to build and seconds to demolish.
  102. Don’t fight the tide, enjoy the ride.
  103. Live the Golden Rule (treat others with courtesy and respect)
  104. Be a leader – let others follow your example.
  105. Be self-aware. Understand what you’re good at and bad at. Why you do what you do and don’t do what you don’t do. What you like and don’t like.
  106. Employ people that add value and that are better than you at what they do.
  107. Participate and contribute and give 100%.
  108. Pursue excellence. Always be looking for the best way things can be done, rather than settling for the best way you can do them.
  109. Work as a team, there is no “I” in “team”.
  110. Share knowledge, results grow exponentially.
  111. Keep it simple (make it easy for customers to do business with you).
  112. Listen and communicate to employees and customers alike – Over communicate
  113. Never burn bridges.
  114. Always be building relationships in business and personally.
  115. Put the customer first.
  116. Manage customer expectations. Don’t give them cause for complaint.
  117. Be resourceful,  use your resources to find creative ways to move beyond obstacles.
  118. Exceed customer expectations always, customer service comes first. Under promise and over deliver – there are more than 100 principles in this article