Monday, January 5, 2009

Basic Business Operations: Startup Tips on Running Your Business

Business is an everyday phenomenon. Sure, starting a business can be very exciting, and the possibility of becoming the next John Gokongwei, Jr. can already make you euphoric. But to be realistic, business is not all about glamor and luxury. People often associate “successful businesses” with rich people in flashy cars and big houses, men in suits playing with the latest gadgets, or rich folks enjoying their vacation somewhere in Boracay or Malapascua, etc. Real business, can be quite far from how it’s being portrayed by the media and television.

As I’ve said, business is an everyday phenomenon. Its success depends on everyday business decisions that you make.

Last December 11, 2008, Thursday, Bam Aquino interviewed Rommel Juan, the president of Binalot Fiesta Inc. and the Association of Filipino Franchisers, to talk about BUSINESS OPERATIONS. (To read the full interview, go to Basic Business Operations: Bam Aquino’s Interview with Rommel Juan.)

Things I’ve learned:

• Each business is different. So there are different ways to run them. Each business targets a different market; produces different products; provides different services.

• Know yourself. Find out what you’re good at and focus on that. You’ll be more productive and efficient if you’re doing what you’re good at.

• Innovation is the key. Look for new ideas -- anywhere. Rommel Juan said, “Keep an eye for innovation.” You can get new business ideas from just about anywhere – the Internet, phone directories, in your neighborhood, entrepreneur magazines, television, etc. A small notebook could come in handy so you can immediately jot down any idea that pops into your head. Check out my very first post: How to Become an Innovative Entrepreneur.

• A good decision done quickly is better than a great decision done slowly (source: Start Up). I somewhat disagree with this, but I’m not saying that this is wrong. In my opinion, it would depend on your business goal(s). Nowadays, you have to be more and more innovative in order to compete. It depends on what you want to achieve, whether it’s long term or just short term. For short-term pay offs, I think that businesses would resort to quick decision-making. But for those who want long-term success, they’d opt for a slow (but sure) decision making process.

• Day to day operation(s) is crucial. Everyday, the decisions that you make can make or break your business.

• Plan ahead. Set up goals. Break them into manageable tasks. This will give your business a sense of direction. You can focus your efforts on things that will give you greater results.

• Do some research. Get people to sample your product. It’s all about better decision-making. Why do businesses have accountants? Why do we have researchers? Why do people start their businesses by joining bazaars first? Because businesses need data, they need information; they need problem solvers who can come up with a good or even better decision.

• Upgrade your operations to track your growth and streamline your production process (source: Start Up). It’s always a good idea to innovate. If you have the budget, why not come up with a better system that uses computer software? This will help increase your efficiency and reduce your effort, time and money. Like what they say, “Why hire 20 people to do the task of one when you can have 1 computer to do the task of 20?”

Note: Reactions and comments are always welcome. :-)

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