In my first blogpost I mentioned that for 27 years I have offered free mentoring to other small defense contractors. Over the years I have found that there are several important pieces of information that every new business person needs to know and take to heart immediately if they are going to avoid many common business problems.
- Don’t skimp on accounting. Business is first and foremost all about managing money. If you lose control of your finances you will lose control of the business itself.
- Understand what you are selling. If you make widgets then understand everything about those widgets and how to make them cheaper, better, and faster than your competition. If you are a services contractor, you sell people and the same principle applies. You must set your business support functions up to make those people cheaper, better and faster than your competitors.
- Customer intimacy is the number one factor responsible for being able to sell your product. Being the cheapest, best and fastest is good but customers still prefer to work with those they know and trust first
- If you are a services organization your accounting, HR, Security, IT and other Support functions are there solely to serve your employees…not your customers. It is your employees that serve the customer. This is why Servant Leader organizations are so successful in the services industry.
- No matter what rank someone retired at, where they have been, or what they claim to have done…never give anyone a “position” at your company. If they don’t want to do a job you don’t need them.
- If possible never give away your stock. If you have to only give it to those that have already proven their worth. Trading stock for promises is a losing proposition
- Read and understand Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. More money rarely fixes an employee’s discontent
- No matter how many rules the Government institutes to level the playing field and make doing business fair it is not and never will be. Don’t expect fairness in anything that people are involved in, no matter how many volumes of legislation have been written to control its operation.
- A person, (no matter how important or critical you believe they are) won’t destroy your organization if they decide to leave. When they leave it’s like pulling your finger out of a bucket of water…the water immediately rushes in to fill the void and after the ripples end you will never there was ever anything different in that spot.
- Teamwork does not occur naturally. It’s a well-known Psychological fact that the normal inclination for individuals is to compete for resources, not to share them with others for the common good. You are responsible for being a cheerleader and building a team atmosphere. If you have an employee that will not become a team player, remove them immediately.
There are literally hundreds of business “rules of thumb” but I have found these to be extremely important, especially in the defense services contracting world. In the future I will share more of these with you but in the meantime if you want more details on any of these reply with a comment and I will be happy to elaborate further.
BRC CEO and CTO
“Cognitive Psychophysicist with an interest in almost everything”