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Business 101


I have worked with business leaders for over 35 years. In that amount of time I have learned a few things about what it takes to run a successful business. Here in no particular order are sixteen observations and suggestions:


  1. If you over-estimate your expenses and under-estimate your revenues, it will be difficult for your business to get into financial trouble.


  1. If you under-estimate your expenses and over-estimate your revenues, it will be very difficult to stay out of financial trouble.


  1. No employee gets excited about the chance to make you a bunch of money if there is little or nothing in it for them. (Don’t delude yourself into thinking the fact that they “have a job” will be enough. Most of your employees had jobs before they came to work for you and they will have jobs after they leave.)


  1. Giving employees an “opportunity” is often little more than giving them more work and more responsibility and not increasing their compensation. They figure that out pretty quickly.


  1. Get the idea that you have to treat employees “equally” out of your head. Employees are not “equal.” They are not equally intelligent, not equally talented, not equally experienced, not equally vested in the company’s success. All employees deserve to be treated with respect, but they are not equal.


  1. A goal when hiring people is to create a workforce that is so talented other organizations want to hire them away from you; but you have created such a great place to work the employees won’t leave.


  1. Employees sometimes need to be corrected. (Shown another way.) They never need to be criticized.


  1. No business sells what it sells. We are all in the “personal attention/quick response” business.


  1. Often the clients or customers we do the most for and charge the least will often be the most demanding and the least satisfied.


  1. There are three reasons people meet: I need to tell you something, you need to tell me something, we need to figure something out. There are numbers of virtual ways to do the first two. Often the only reason we need to see each other face to face is the third reason.


  1. Most managers are not trained to hire, fire or lead people. Other than that, they do fine.


  1. If you want to radically improve your effectiveness, begin each task by asking and honestly answering the questions “Why am I doing this task and why am I doing it right now?”


  1. It’s difficult to set a goal for another person. They need to be involved and buy in.


  1. Two very helpful questions to answer when approaching a problem are “What is my goal(s), and what are my concerns?”


  1. When evaluating employees’ progress, try asking these three questions: “What’s working?” What can we do better?” and “What can we do differently?” The reason these questions are effective is because they come from a place of curiosity–not judgment.


  1. Employees are either overhead or investments. Employers cut and control overhead. They put time and resources into investments.


Let me know if you found any of these suggestions helpful.

CTS Consulting, Inc

3126 Berkshire Road

Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

cell 443-286-2488