Entrepreneurial Tit-bits: Focus on the ‘Big Things’

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In our last Entrepreneurial Tit-bit, we discussed the need to understand the ‘small things’ and take care of them in your business. Small issues, not sorted out, have a way of irritating you; distracting you, and can become a drag on you as well as hamper your ability and overall efficiency in handling the big issues. The trick is to have a system that ‘clears’ such ‘distractions’ as they arise.

As you understand what the small issues are and establish a way to resolve them as they crop up, you have to know what the big issues really are and commit your resources to addressing them. Depending on your operating environment and the stage of your venture, some of the big issues that may confront you include:

Visioning, strategy and planning: No matter your size at starting point, having a clear vision of what you aspire the business to become; having a strategy and developing a plan to achieve your objectives is the first success imperative. Specifically, the following issues are particularly critical:

Identify your key business metrics: Identifying what our fundamental business metrics are is critical in helping us create a sharp focus and deploying resources where they will really matter. It helps our efficiency of our effort and the effectiveness of our planning. Visit my post, Business Metrics, for more.

Business development: Any activity that helps you increase your customer base in their numbers and the volume of business you do with them is of prime importance and should not be taken lightly. Meeting customers to check the ‘pulse’ of the relationship and how you can offer and do more with them is very important. Everyone in the organisation must understand and live with this.

Cost  management: Keeping a tab on operational costs, without losing quality, is important to the long-term success of your venture. No matter the level of funding available to you, inability to control costs can in the long-run lead to business failure. It is important you maintain keen eyes on this.

Cash flow management: Another very important financial variable that is key to long-term success of a business is its cash flow. In the short-run, external cash injection by way of equity or loan can bridge gaps in your operational cash position. In the long-run however, internal generation, principally from sales and its collection is absolutely necessary for success. Sales generation, effective credit management and control, and aggressive collections are important in helping you manage your cash.

Employees: Another critical success factor in the operation of any business venture is the quality of the work force. Consequently, training of employees to imbibe and develop required work attitude, skills, and overall organisational culture should be on your big issues plate and taken seriously.

Structure and processes: Getting things done and correctly too, depends on the structure and business processes you establish. Depending on the size and scope of your activities, the appropriate structure and processes are necessary if you are to succeed in achieving both your short-term and long-term goals, as well your capacity to treat the small issues and handle the big ones. Again depending on your size and scope of operations, emphasis may be on one or the other.

Overall, it is important to understand and accept that as with most things in life, success in entrepreneurship is about balance and focus on everything that matters irrespective of its size. Remember what is said about business failure: It comes about not so much because of one large wrong decision but more because of a series of wrong decisions, irrespective of their sizes.


Feature photo credit: Ruslan Valeev on Unsplash


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