The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicked off last week in Las Vegas. Big news has been abound as the latest and greatest slew of must have gadgets are paraded before the public and press. We'll see fascinating products from new and innovative inventors as well as new generations of familiar stuff from the Multi-Nationals.
I’ve been following an attending CES for decades and I’ve seen a lot of companies come and go. I’ve seen great ideas go down in a ball of flames after a ton of media attention. It seemed as if they couldn’t lose and then months later, they were gone.
This is true for lots of good ideas, innovative companies and dedicated entrepreneurs. Maybe you have even lived through it.
Here’s the thing, what kills most companies is skipping the basics. No matter how awesome your idea is, if you ignore fundamentals you will fail. The key is to mastering the basics.
So, as you jump head first into 2016 here are three things to keep your focus on.
1. Corporate Compliance.
OK, that may seem like a boring way to start but the truth is that if your business entity is shaky, then it doesn’t matter what you build on top of it, the whole thing is at risk. Make sure that you are treating your company like a separate legal individual from you and that you hold the appropriate meetings and keep the documents the government requires.
2. Watch Your Cash.
Too many people are focused on the profit and loss statement rather than the cash flow reports. Here’s what I know. You cannot spend profits. You can only spend cash. Your task is to figure out how to turn paper profits into spendable cash. This is done through imagining each expenditure as an investment rather than an expense. You will always pay attention to the returns you are getting on investments where as you might get sloppy about how you are paying bills. Cash is king. You must have sufficient cash. Without it, you are dead in the water.
3. Empower Your People.
The most successful companies, most beloved bosses, most heralded industries are dominated by the concept that you need to empower your people rather than lording over them. Most people will flourish in an environment where they can feel ownership of their job and have a clear understanding of how their successes and failures impact the company as a whole. When people know they can make a decisions without fear of punishment and when they can make the job “their own”, they will give you their heads and hearts. That is the beginning of real strength. (Check out this article we did on authentic leadership that creates impact.)
Bottom line - the success of any enterprise is found in the basics, regardless of what your particular basics are. They are always important and they apply to a tons of different 'life' situations.
For me, I define my basics as playing by the rules, have sufficient cash and surround yourself with a powerful team.
What are your basics that you live by in business?