There’s a scathing new film out that seeks to tear down St. Jobs from his Apple Empire pedestal (http://bit.ly/1G944Dy). And that’s fine. He was certainly a flawed man.
But here’s what I know: Steve Jobs made the business of being in business “cool” again. Those old enough to remember can hearken back to the early 80’s, when Lee Iacocca was the leading biz figure. And his contribution? An effectively-managed government bailout of Chrysler. (editor–sounds familiar.)
Then Jobs burst onto the scene with the Apple Macintosh, and Silicon Valley millionaires jumped to the forefront. Guys in their 20’s, with style, making great products which the masses loved. Suddenly, business was no longer the realm of backroom cigar-smoked pinstripes. Oh, and those products sure are great.
And it wouldn’t have happened without a Wall Street IPO in 1980 when Apple raised $101 million.
So, in actual honor to Steve Jobs (and to not get caught up in the modern urge to tear down our public figures), I thought I’d put together my thoughts on real-world entrepreneurship … and how to manage it now.
Again, this is just for the purposes of being a helpful voice to you … I don’t presume to have all of the answers, but I *have* seen a few businesses work pretty darn well in my day.
Venuti’s 3 Big Tips For Entrepreneurs
“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” – Bernard Baruch
In years past, being an “entrepreneur” could carry a negative connotation. The general public (or “civilians”, as one of my business owner friends refers to them) associated business owners with insanity. After all, who would invest everything they had into running a business that may or may not succeed?
Well, as I mentioned above, Steve Jobs did a great deal to change all of that.
Business ownership is now a badge of courage–something to be admired. In this economy especially, “business opportunity” companies are thriving. But here’s something you may be surprised to hear me say about these folks: Too many of the “new” generation of entrepreneurs want to play it safe.
They start a part-time company while still holding a regular day job. Or, they invest a little bit of money into a company, and back out when things become too difficult.
If this describes you, I have a little bit of news. You are a risk taker. Whether you would consider yourself one or not, you’re an entrepreneur…and therefore a risk taker. You took a risk in starting your company.
But are you holding back to the point where you’re stunting your growth?
Well, I can relate–I’ve never been known as a “free-wheeler”, but I’ve learned a few things over the years about risk–and reward.
So here are a few “big picture” tips for entrepreneurs, which you can use to guide your risk-taking decisions and still see large returns:
1. Invest in your education. The wisest entrepreneurs read about the success/failures of others, and plan accordingly.
2. Invest in a system. If you do not understand the importance of having a system in your company, read Michael Gerber’s books (The E-Myth series). But, I think you probably inherently understand how critical it is to make your business “scalable”.
3. Invest in sales and marketing automation. Marketing is the key to growing your business. And, automation is a way to run your company while you work on growing your company. Rather than investing in expensive sales people, figure out a way to make sales online, or through other advertising media … in a systematic, “hands free” sort of way.
If you’re not taking risks, you will certainly not see the rewards of your efforts. Take the time to analyze the level of the risks you might be taking. But realize that without being willing to go out on a limb once in a while, you will never see the rewards you dream of.
Feel very free to share this article with a Newtown Square, PA business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way?While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Newtown Square, PA families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.
Warmly (and until next week),
Stephen J. Venuti, CPA, MST, LLC