In business, there is also a set of rules -- rules which help set the tone of your organization and determine if it will succeed or fail. While there is never a guarantee that a business will succeed, knowing the "10 business commandments" will give you a compass to guide you through the rough times.
Rule 1: Thou shalt turn a profit
No matter what type of business you own -- a "mom and pop" shop, a tech startup or a home-based business, you must turn a profit. This seems like a given, but sometimes people are so immersed in pursuing their dreams that they forget they need money, too. And if you’re not turning a profit, your "job" becomes a hobby.
Rule 2: Thou shalt know thy value.
Customers need to fully understand the value of your product before they give you their business. You don’t necessarily need a unique product to succeed, but what you have has to set you apart from the competition. That is the value you provide your customers.
Rule 3: Thou shalt invest in thy business.
According to CB Insights, one of the reasons why businesses fail is cash-flow problems. Twenty-nine percent of startups fail because of a cash crisis. As a result, business owners may be a little gun-shy about spending a lot of money on the latest software or gadget, but (as the saying goes) if you’re going to run with the big dogs, you've got to learn how to pee in the tall grass.
Rule 4: Thou shalt surround thyself w/what's right
In business, and in life, there’s very little you achieve on your own.
Entrepreneur Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Chances are, your success today has come about as a result of someone else giving you the benefit of his or her expertise in the past.
Rule 5: Thou shalt never stop learning.
No matter how old you are or how long you’ve been in business, you never stop learning. It’s not just about reading books, it’s about talking to people (sometimes even younger employees), attending seminars and conferences and stepping out of your comfort zone.
Rule 6: Thou shalt execute.
Every entrepreneur has great ideas up his (or her) sleeve; however, your idea won’t matter one iota if you’re afraid to pull the trigger. Idealism is what makes the American engine run, but idealism alone is nothing without a healthy dose of realism.
Rule 7: Thou shalt not forget about marketing
Small businesses don’t think marketing is as important for them as it would be to a Fortune 500 company. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Marketing (and sales) are just as important to every business, regardless of size. Businesses don’t fail because they lack great ideas; they fail because they’re not promoting and selling themselves. An idea might be innovative, but if no one knows about it, your efforts are wasted.
Rule 8: Thou shalt be flexible.
You’re competing with millions of people for attention; therefore, you need to be flexible with your plans. Every entrepreneur starts out with a plan, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only plan you should always follow. The plan must be flexible enough for when you encounter setbacks like a social media campaign gone bad, a defective product, lack of inventory or worse. Customers will be quick to give you their feedback. You must listen to that feedback and pivot accordingly.
Rule 9: Thou shalt strive for excellence.
This is one of those rules we must always keep front and center. When starting a business, you might find it easy to get caught up in building everything from the ground up. You might even over-promise some things in order to sign up your first client. While you must always strive to provide the best possible service, you must be careful not to over-promise and under-deliver. That’s the easiest way to fail. Providing excellent service should never be compromised at the expense of your bottom line
Rule 10: Thou shalt think BIG
Dreaming is part of being an entrepreneur -- imagining how different things will be for you, personally and professionally. But you can’t build what you haven’t imagined. In order to be successful, you must believe you can make it happen. It’s not about being cocky and boisterous about how great your idea is, but about having a quiet confidence that says, “I can do this.”