Learn the Fundamentals
A close friend of mine is a former NBA player. From his first day in his first training camp he was chosen as a starter for one of the league’s most storied franchises, the Los Angeles Lakers. During his 10 year career he won two NBA championships and played in another, was named to two all-star teams, and perennially he was among the top leaders in assists in the league.
Recently I asked him what was key in his success in the league. He said, “The best thing that happened to me was my high school coach. He taught and grounded me in the fundamentals of the game and what I found as a progressed to college and eventually to the NBA, because I was fundamentally sound I could play at a very high level whether it was high school, college or the NBA. He went on the say, “Because of my knowledge of the fundamentals I could compete with anyone and outperform a great percentage of my peers. Knowing the fundamentals was the roots for my success.”
In the business world, it is the same. All businesses are different in some respect. However, there are basic fundamentals that apply to all businesses regardless of type, size, product, location or industry. Develop a working knowledge of the following fundamentals of operating a business and you will have success in any business.
Marketing and Sales
The most important fundamental of operating a business is marketing and sales. The life of a business is dependent on its ability to generate enough revenue to sustain its existence. Your marketing and sales activities are the engine that drives the business. The foundation of a winning marketing and sales plan consist of:
- Providing a solution to a problem or meeting a need
- Providing a solution that different from those that are resolving the same problem or meeting the same need
- Providing top performing products/services
- Clearly identifying and knowing your customer
Operations are duties, responsibilities, processes and procedures that are required to serve customers and keep the business functioning. Operations include:
- Job descriptions and responsibilities
- Record-keeping systems
- Licensing, registration, legal structure
The third fundamental of business is financial management. The specific issues that business owners should concern themselves with is:
- Profit margin and cost of goods/services
- Operating expenses
- Cash flow
Become grounded in the fundamentals of business and you are primed for winning in business.