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Business: Do's and Dont's

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Kreativez

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DO:
- Take action
- Read, absorb the information
- Scale
- Create
- Take care of your health


DON'T:
- Go into business blindsided
- Read too much, where you have no time to take action
- Scale if your business isn't ready
- Steal
- Join MLM's (unless you're the one making it)

What other do's and don't's can you guys come up with?
 
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MidwestLandlord

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Sort of a vague post lol

What you have listed is more mindset stuff rather than business, ya know?

The "do's and don'ts" really depends on the actual business...

And in a real business, the do's and don'ts are soft rules anyway. I've successfully done many "don'ts" in my retail B&M biz that most everyone else would think was nuts haha.

I'll give an example:

My top selling vendor is Coca Cola. 2 years ago they were trying to force a huge price increase on me during our contract negotiation. I don't mind paying more if their costs go up, it happens. But what I don't like is paying more than my competition pays, and I knew their new offer was higher than that. (especially on their storage fees)

When they refused to budge, I threw them out of all of my locations and gave their space to Admiral Beverage (Pepsi bottler)

I took a sales hit for sure. Big time. But I knew Coke would come crawling back because of my sales volume and because their prices were out of line and they knew it.

They did, about a month later...with a price that was acceptable to me.

That was a big "don't" for sure. I mean, who stops selling their top product? But it worked, and saved me ten's of thousands of dollars.

tl;dr:

DO what works.

DON'T do what doesn't work.

Rules are not set in stone.
 

Scot

Salad Dressing Empire
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DO what works.

DON'T do what doesn't work.

Rules are not set in stone.

More importantly, do it fast and adapt fast.

It's ok to do a DONT but fail fast. Learn from it and change it before damage is done.
 
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GSF

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Aug 25, 2012
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From personal (& painful) experience, I think these are universal no matter what business you're in.

Do:
  • keep accurate up to date accounts and/ or hire an accountant. It's very easy to put off the boring stuff, leaving a year's worth of receipts and invoices stuffed in a shoe box until a week before your tax is due. Good accounts mean you'll be able to monitor cashflow and make better business decisions.
  • keep a record/ list of previous customers so you can keep in regular contact and sell to them again, especially when things are quiet.
  • know how much it costs to acquire a customer and what they spend with you on average.
  • customer service. Respond quickly and politely in a voice that is appropriate to your customer demographic.
Dont:
  • build a business that is dependent on any one single customer or employee. if 90% of your revenue comes from one customer or a platform like amazon and amazon decides to kick you off, you're out of business. If your business relies on one skilled employee who's skillset is hard to train and in demand and he decides to leave, you'll find it very hard to build a business that can run without you and scale.
  • be rude or argue with customers, they can ruin your businesses reputation very quickly.
  • get into business with family or friends, unless they bring skills or resources which could benefit the business, but even then it's a bad idea with a very real risk or ruining relationships.
  • be known for having the lowest prices, it will be hard to grow, raise prices and make a profit.
 

Kreativez

Bronze Contributor
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Sort of a vague post lol

What you have listed is more mindset stuff rather than business, ya know?

The "do's and don'ts" really depends on the actual business...

And in a real business, the do's and don'ts are soft rules anyway. I've successfully done many "don'ts" in my retail B&M biz that most everyone else would think was nuts haha.

I'll give an example:

My top selling vendor is Coca Cola. 2 years ago they were trying to force a huge price increase on me during our contract negotiation. I don't mind paying more if their costs go up, it happens. But what I don't like is paying more than my competition pays, and I knew their new offer was higher than that. (especially on their storage fees)

When they refused to budge, I threw them out of all of my locations and gave their space to Admiral Beverage (Pepsi bottler)

I took a sales hit for sure. Big time. But I knew Coke would come crawling back because of my sales volume and because their prices were out of line and they knew it.

They did, about a month later...with a price that was acceptable to me.

That was a big "don't" for sure. I mean, who stops selling their top product? But it worked, and saved me ten's of thousands of dollars.

tl;dr:

DO what works.

DON'T do what doesn't work.

Rules are not set in stone.

See -- this is what I wanted. I wanted everyone to give their own do's and don't's. These are my personal ones, those are yours! What works for you might not work for me, vice versa. That's a great story though, thank you for sharing that. I guess the story (long story short) would be don't compromise. I'd love to get other ideas on what their do's and don't's are.

More importantly, do it fast and adapt fast.

It's ok to do a DONT but fail fast. Learn from it and change it before damage is done.

Well I mean, that depends on the don't. If it's something that make sense then it's a calculated risk -- if it's something as stupid as hiring an expensive CEO when your business is raking 30k a year, then that's a whole different story.

From personal (& painful) experience, I think these are universal no matter what business you're in.

Do:
  • keep accurate up to date accounts and/ or hire an accountant. It's very easy to put off the boring stuff, leaving a year's worth of receipts and invoices stuffed in a shoe box until a week before your tax is due. Good accounts mean you'll be able to monitor cashflow and make better business decisions.
  • keep a record/ list of previous customers so you can keep in regular contact and sell to them again, especially when things are quiet.
  • know how much it costs to acquire a customer and what they spend with you on average.
  • customer service. Respond quickly and politely in a voice that is appropriate to your customer demographic.
Dont:
  • build a business that is dependent on any one single customer or employee. if 90% of your revenue comes from one customer or a platform like amazon and amazon decides to kick you off, you're out of business. If your business relies on one skilled employee who's skillset is hard to train and in demand and he decides to leave, you'll find it very hard to build a business that can run without you and scale.
  • be rude or argue with customers, they can ruin your businesses reputation very quickly.
  • get into business with family or friends, unless they bring skills or resources which could benefit the business, but even then it's a bad idea with a very real risk or ruining relationships.
  • be known for having the lowest prices, it will be hard to grow, raise prices and make a profit.

That last one makes me think -- could you put Walmart as an outlier? I mean people shop their for their lower prices don't they? Are they an exception to the rule?
 
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ZF Lee

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Bump.
Especially for @MidwestLandlord 's and @GSF's posts.
Let me add some.

Do:
a. Apologise if you slip up and do your best to make amends for the customer. Make sure he doesn't go away empty handed.
b. Check the background of any employee, mentor, partner, client and anyone your Fastlane business depends on. Not only you will know their needs and motives, and decide better on how to deal with them, but you can spot which are worth your time and which aren't. Especially customers. Helping them should be a priority, but if they had a prior history of exploiting customer service, it's a boo-boo.

For partners, if they have a shoddy reputation, with a tendency to have cash disappear under your nose while you are sleeping, it's a boo-boo.
c. Meet your suppliers and distributors now and then to ask how they are. Offer some assistance now and then with referrals or networks if necessary. Business is not always a battlefield.
d. Keep up with the daily news via networking, reading premium news sources and keep an eye on general economic developments. That way, not only you can spot any opportunities, but if a market crash seems to be looming, you'll have a headstart to get the ark ready.

Don't:
a. Depend on emotion to do work. I used to be that emo kid who studied only when he was in the best mood, and played truant when he had the bouts of depression. The world still turns whether you are happy or sad, triumphant or defeated, excited or depressed. While I was attempting to nurse my emotional grievances of hating school, my peers rushed by me on the grades.

Millions of so-called entrepreneurs view motivation videos to nurse their grievances on how the school system sucks, and jobs don't give financial freedom and dreams.

Millions of so-called entrepreneurs band together in forums, business talks and seminars to try to 'increase their knowledge'. Not wrong, but will they go out to war after that? Not likely. In these 'gatherings', they nurse their wounds of negativity against the system, and attempt to medicate them with inspirational success stories of hope. But outside, where the shells of failure rain down, the brave few who decided that such things were holding them back trudge on, and on, and on. And when they reached the enemy lines for the victory, the others all the way back might have only just mustered enough courage to make the first baby step....

Yay! First baby step! A beginning!....the gurus crow.:playful:
Yup, you made your first step at 50 when you had those executable ideas at 20. Worse tragedy than Hamlet...... :devil:

Sure, the brave few felt like shit, but you need shit to grow the crops.:shit:

b. Hope on a few people to help you. Don't hope that your partner will run the business for you while you sit on a beach drinking margaritas. That was how Mordred ruined Camelot while King Arthur was away.

Don't hope that your present base of customers will always love what you are doing. Their expectations will change over time. Continue looking for new customers, and that might include altering some product offerings and prices. But do reward the loyalty of long-time patrons by offering a premium service selection or some handy discounts.

Be prepared to do the work should someone in your team betray you, and you have to expel him quickly before he does any more damage. Rehiring can take some time. Have at least a working knowledge although you aren't the expert. I have had team projects where people never showed up, but we managed because I found means to cover up the gaps.
 

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