My rules of business so far from my short career:

1. Ideas are not opportunities. Ideas are cheap, plentiful, and disposable.
2. Good opportunities are required for good business.
3. People make up the personality of a business.
4. A business is ultimately a persona of the owner in all aspects.
5. The inertia of hard work and perseverance can overcome a bad market/tough competitor.
6. A business is made of metrics. To not know your metrics well means you don't know your business well.
7. Most business "rules" are worthless.
8. It will be harder than you think. See the "Hype Cycle".
9. Transactions are not ultimately profitable. Healthy/cooperative/trustworthy business relationships are ultimately profitable for all.
10. Without alignment of expectations neither customers nor business counterparts will be happy with your product or service.

Feel free to critique.

Views: 431

Comment by Jeanna Zivalich on May 18, 2013 at 9:29am

Great inventors and successful entrepreneurs started out with just an "idea" that converted into great opportunities.

Comment by TJ on May 20, 2013 at 2:50pm

Indeed. I don't totally discount the value of an idea - but an idea without the opportunity to exercise the idea is worthless. Hence ideas being cheap and plentiful. The opportunity and execution is much more difficult.

Comment by Jeanna Zivalich on May 20, 2013 at 2:53pm

You have an idea. You create the opportunity. Not worthless.

Comment by TJ on May 20, 2013 at 2:59pm

We are defining "opportunity" differently. I think I know what you mean.

Comment by Bill Schultz on May 20, 2013 at 3:23pm

All I need to say about this is I agree with #7.  

Comment by Noel Cocca on May 20, 2013 at 3:33pm

Lots of great ideas in business but great execution of those ideas is how money is made.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 20, 2013 at 3:43pm

My rules of business from a long career.

There are only two ways to do business, honest and dishonest.  There is no gray area.  Situation ethics are not ethics.

If you have a great idea, try it for a reasonable amount of time.  If it doesn't work toss it and have another idea.  Don't get invested in something just because you thought it was great idea.

Don't reinvent the wheel.  Ask somebody who has a lot of experience if something has ever been done before (most things have been tried) find out if it worked or didn't and why.

Anybody can handle the mountain tops.  Handling the valleys is the test of long term success.

Doing the wrong thing longer and harder does not make it work.  Hard work at the wrong thing is like keeping your nose to the grindstone rough and holding it down there long enough so that the only thing you end up with is you, your stone and your effin bloody nose.

Prior and proper preparation prevents piss poor performance.  If you don't know what you are talking about, shut up.

Metrics are wonderful.  They don't pay the bills.  If you spend too much time counting shit you dont' have time to shovel it. 

If business were easy everybody would own their own.  When you first start you don't know squat but you think you do.  Watch the guys who have been a success and try to improve on what they do that is working.

If you hit a brick wall, don't back up and keep running at it.  Figure out a way to get around it.  The wall doesn't have a brain, you do, use it.

Show up.  No matter how talented you are, if you aren't there you will fail.  If you give a party and nobody comes it's not a party it's a failed attempt at something.  Dont' try to give a party if you already know nobody is going to come.

An unprofitable transaction can lead to the next one being profitable.  Sometimes a loss leader item builds return business.  Dont' give away the farm just for the pleasure of a transaction but don't labor under the misconception that everything you ever do is going to be profitable.

Trying to sell somebody an apple when they want an orange just convinces them that all you know about is apples, you don't like oranges or you are too damn stupid to know the difference.  If you only have an apple eat it and go find an orange.

Check you ego at the door.  Big egos are only appreciated after you get to be a big shot and then not very much, you just get to be known as a successful A$$hole.

Quit worrying about business rules.  Go to work, watch, listen and learn, try it, if you fail, shake it off, learn from it and do something different the next time.  Mental masturbation about how things should be instead of how they are has been the downfall of many.

Comment by TJ on May 20, 2013 at 3:58pm

Love it.

Comment by Will Thomson on May 20, 2013 at 4:49pm

Again, Sandra.  You had me laughing out loud.  I love what you said about Metrics.  

Comment by pam claughton on May 20, 2013 at 6:22pm

Sandra,

This is awesome! Love it.

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