If you’re thinking of starting your own business, or even if you already are an entrepreneur, there are certain common sense business practices that apply to any industry.  Check out the following list to see how many you currently incorporate into yours.

  • Keep accurate records.  This includes not only records of transactions, but also receipts from purchases, invoices for services performed or products sold, and all tax documents.  You can choose to keep hard copies, electronic copies, or a combination of both.  However, don’t forget to have a backup somewhere for anything electronic.  The more accurate and organized your records are, the easier it will be to correct a problem if or when it arises.
  • Organize your desk/office.  Wherever your main workspace is, it should be well-kept area; a cluttered, disorganized area will inhibit your productivity.  Even worse, you may be unable to locate an important document or product you need when you actually need it.
  • Treat customers and employees/colleagues with respect.  You’re bound to encounter difficult situations involving the people with whom you do business.  The way you handle such issues speaks a lot about your character and business ethic.  Sometimes problems cannot be avoided, but handling them calmly, professionally, and respectfully will help you maintain relationships that are important to your business.
  • Create a budget and stick to it.  Even when you’re doing well and money is rolling in, it is important to be frugal whenever and wherever you can.  Actually put your budget in writing, and revisit it frequently to see where changes need to be made so you can adjust accordingly based on your business’s evolving needs.
  • Cut down on the multitasking.  It’s inevitable that there has to be some level of multitasking involved in being a small business owner. However, don’t make it the norm.  Start and finish one task at a time to prevent you from losing your train of thought and forgetting important details.  Practice the self-discipline it takes to complete one task at a time and do it well.
  • Seek help, advice, and education.  Identify some industry experts and read their materials, take their workshops, subscribe to their blogs, etc.  There are countless successful entrepreneurs who have come before you; use their experiences to continually learn about how to run and grow your business.
  • Have a positive outlook; expect challenges.  Of course, you want to maintain a positive attitude about your business.  That is why you should always challenge yourself to be the best that you can be, but at the same time, be prepare for the challenges that may arise.  For example, before sinking every last dime into that new marketing plan, figure out what you would do if it falls flat. Being financially and emotionally prepared will help you move past any setbacks.
  • Get involved in the community.  Connecting with other businesses and organizations within your community is extremely beneficial.  It shows that you are vested in the best interests of the community and that you have something valuable to contribute.  Furthermore, it is a great way to network and meet the very people you hope to do business with.  Get in touch with your local chamber of commerce for ideas about how to get involved and who to contact.

How many have you implemented?  What other common sense business tips do you think need to be added to our list?  Please share your ideas below!

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