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Ever wonder what the other guy's up to? Here's what

Published November 30, 2012 6:53 pm

7 facts could mean the difference in your business's survival, author advises.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Bill McBean, author of "The Facts of Business Life: What Every Successful Business Owner Knows That You Don't," advises business owners to follow seven key steps, or be at risk of failure.

How can businesses thrive?

Owners have to start with leadership by defining the destination (success) and time frame, then figuring out how to get there (control and management). They must recognize which assets are important and how to maximize them through planning and so on, one fact at a time.

Explain the seven facts.

Business owners have to create strong business foundations if they want to become successful and remain that way. Understanding and applying these facts of business creates this foundation — without them businesses have a less than 30 percent survival rate.

If you don't lead, no one will follow • All businesses have to start with leadership. What most business owners don't know is that your leadership style has to change as your business grows and adapts to a changing market.

If you don't control it, you don't own it • A business owner's reality is, if he or doesn't control the business through procedures and processes, failure is likely. The bottom line is, if owners don't control their businesses by defining what has to be done, they are merely observers — not owners.

Protecting your company's assets should be your first priority • This fact goes far beyond buying insurance for your buildings and equipment, or those assets listed on the company balance sheet. It includes understanding asset maximization. Customers, employees, your processes and procedures are assets, which generate sales and profits, and they need constant attention and protection.

Planning is about preparing for the future, not predicting it • Owners have to get away from making decisions on emotions and assumptions. "The Facts of Business Life" explains not only how to gather factual market data but how to use this data and create a plan that identifies opportunities and threats.

If you don't market your business you won't have one • If you don't like marketing, or resist spending money on it, ownership is not for you. Owners can't escape the fact the market constantly needs to hear about your business, or it will forget you exist.

The market place is a war zone • The zone is a fight over money – sales to be precise – which translates into profits. Your employees must know the product, its benefits and why customers should buy from your business. If they can't discuss these important factors, your business is doomed and your marketing money is wasted.

You don't have to know the business you're in; you have to know business • This is common sense. The more you understand other business disciplines the better owner you will be, and the more money you will make, compared with your competitors.

How are these facts interrelated?

The key to these facts is their importance singularly — but they are sequential. For example, if there is no leadership, there is nothing to control. Or if you don't market your business, there is no sense preparing for the war zone.

Dawn House Bill McBean, author