This is the simplest lesson in running a business (and living your life) that you will ever read.
You must have a good product, offer it at a reasonable price, make it available at a good location, and communicate its benefits to potential customers.
You must take in more money than you spend. At the beginning, cash flow is more critical than profit, but that must come at some point. (Of course, in personal life, this means not maxing it all your credit cards!)
You must set aside money to improve what you offer (in product, in place, and in people). Money should be spent only on things that have a direct impact on customers.
If there is any left over, then you can spend it on nicer things for yourself. But, the owner comes last and only after the business is healthy and the future is set.
The easiest ways to kill a business is for the owner to not have control of spending or to take out too much money. The fable about killing the goose that lays the golden egg applies here.
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Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.