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Make Your Business Not Suck

August 5th, 2008 by shawn · 2 Comments

So you want to start a business. You have a stupendous idea! You have some start-up money! You’ve got the moxy and the know-how! But will the business survive? Here’s a list of six things that should be true of any business before you launch it. Why six? Because I couldn’t think of ten!

It must be legitimate. Not a scam. Not a multi-level marketing scam or pyramid scheme. Nope. It must be a genuine business – a real, bona fide, legitimate business.

Must have profit potential. You wouldn’t believe how many people start businesses without first determining 1) if they will even be able to make money at it (based on costs) and 2) how much money everything costs and how much everything will potentially profit them. So for your business to not suck, figure this stuff out before you start anything. Add up your fixed and variable business costs. Figure out how much you have to sell your products or services for in order to turn a profit – and know what all the numbers are.

Should be sustainable. What I mean is that it should have some long-term lasting value and what would be called “staying power.” The opposite of your business having staying power would mean your business is a fad. Are fads necessarily a bad thing? No. Lots of money can be made off of a passing fad. But if you do base a business on a fad, make sure that you use your “fad business” to fund a sustainable business. Remember this rule: Never live off your short-term investments. Your short-term investments should be used to fund your long-term investments.

Must meet a need. I think that for you to even expect to make a business successful, there should be some need met by your products or services. And in that line of thinking – a great need will likely have greater potential to build a successful business off of. It could be something boring, or even something unpleasant – but if the need exists, people will buy it. (Some unpleasant examples that meet huge needs are coffin manufacturing and herpes medication.)

It should do good. I am personally opposed to products that harm people or individuals, cause destruction, or are bad for the earth or animals. So (even though they may be profitable) I would have to say that weapons manufacturers, abortion mills, heroin or cocaine dealers, cigarette manufacturers, and a bunch of other businesses suck. If you don’t agree with me, that’s o.k.! You have the right to be incorrect.

It should be ethical. Going right along with the last point, business should not operate in a way which cheats people or is in any way unethical. Even if a business does good things and meets the needs of people, if it operates in an unethical manner it probably won’t last long. And it sucks.

If you follow these guidelines, your business can have a chance at not sucking. Given that most new businesses fail – you need to follow some guidelines as well as do the “expected” things such as putting in long hours, working hard, blah blah blah. You need to show some character and determination as well as have a solid moral, ethical, and socially-responsible foundation on which to base your existence as a business.

Without those things, your business will just suck.

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    Comment by Small Businessman
    2008-08-29 17:06:33

    These are truly helpful topics you have and I like your style of writing. Very captivating! Cheers!

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    Comment by real estate Miami
    2011-09-02 09:57:50

    Brilliant article for business improvements. All your points are valid and true. Being passionate about your work or business doesn’t hurt either. Passion is what drives people, it gives them the extra motivation to get through the tough times and come out standing strong. Also knowledge might be a good addition, research about how you can improve your business and find out what the consumers want and give it to them. Knowledge is power!

    I really like your “it should do good”, people tend to forget this because they are blinded by the money. It is a good reminder for all of us. Thanks.

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