Hey Mr.Business-Owner, How Are You Doing?

Running a business requires a great variety of skills, and you probably don’t have them all. In this article, the foremost skills needed are highlighted. If you don’t have them, or are weak in any of them, be sure to find a partner or top manager who can help fill the gaps.

Administrative Skills

You may be able to afford to hire a good R2D2assistant who can organize your office for you, but if you’re just starting a business, that’s not likely the case. If you haven’t already done this in previous jobs, you need to get very good at preparing correspondence with your customers and vendors, invoicing and billing, collecting and tracking customer payments, and all the other tasks that an office manager, secretary, and bookkeeper might do in a large business.
You also need to keep your filing up to date so you know which bills you’ve paid, which customers have paid you, as well as all the details you’ll need to file all the federal, state, and local government reports, including tax returns. Administrative skills are not the glamorous part of owning your own business, but they’re certainly critical ones.

Decision Making

All small-business owners will need to make decisions every day, probably numerous times per day. You need to be able to make sound decisions quickly, constantly, and under pressure. You’re the boss, so you need to be able to act correctly and independently. There won’t be anyone else you can lean on for their opinion. While you can seek advice from employees or business advisers, such as accountants and lawyers, ultimately you’re the one that must be able to make the right decisions for your business.

Financial Skills

Unless you’re professionally trained as an accountant, you will most likely hire someone to do the financial statements for you, but that person won’t take on the daily responsibilities of keeping your business’s books. You could hire a bookkeeper when you can afford one to take care of the daily tasks, but you always want to keep on top of those books to avoid potential fraud or theft. As a business owner, you never want to turn your books over to someone else, unless it’s a close family member or partner, without maintaining strong controls.
You also need to be good at managing cash flow and making sure you’ll have enough money on hand to meet your bills. Vendors will quickly cut you off if they don’t get paid, which can shut your business down.
Before you spend any money, you should know how to analyze the benefits of that expense to your business and whether that expense will ultimately add to your ability to make a profit. If you’re not sure, take the time to analyze the expense further, and don’t rush to make a financial decision until you are certain you know its ramifications for your business.

Industry-Specific Skills

Specific skills cannot be listed here, but itFrankie_and_Benny's is imperative that you should be knowledgeable and be sure you have the specific skills for the industry in which you plan to run your business. For example, if you’re planning to buy or start a restaurant, you need to have many different industry-specific skills. You must know how to cook everything on your menu even if you plan to hire a chef.Remember that your chef could get sick or quit abruptly and you’ll have to do the cooking to keep the business open.
You must know how to hire and manage servers to be sure your customers are getting the service you expect them to get. You must understand the technical aspects of buying your food for the restaurant, so you get the quality of food you want, when you want it, and at the best price.
For whatever business you’re thinking of starting or buying, write down all the specific knowledge and skills you might need and either learn to do them yourself or find a partner who can fill any gaps. Only a partner will put in the time, effort, and dedication that you’ll need to get a business off the ground and keep it going.

People Management

Can you work with all different types of Angry Employeepeople and manage what they do?
A business owner must be good at developing working relationships with all kinds of people, including employees, customers, vendors, bankers, and professionals.
You must be good at recognizing an individual’s idiosyncrasies and learn to use them to get what you want. Just about every day your business is open you will be faced with a demanding customer or a cranky employee. Frequently, you need to deal with an unreliable vendor. Can you handle the pressure and get even difficult people to work for you and do what you want?

Physical and Emotional Stamina

Running your own business can be very demanding both physically and emotionally. Do you have the stamina to handle the pressure? You will likely face 12-hour days (or more), six or seven days a week, as a business owner. Be sure you are ready to handle that both emotionally and physically.

Problem Solving

You must be a good problem solver. As a business owner, that will be one of your primary jobs. Everyone, including employees, vendors, and customers, will be bringing their problems to you. You need to be able to work with them to develop a solution quickly and move on.
You can’t afford to tie yourself down to researching one solution and implementing it, while the rest of your business goes down the toilet. You must be able to either come up with a solution quickly, or know how, and to whom, you can designate responsibility to solve that problem.
If you are running the business all by yourself, you need to carefully manage your time and be sure you don’t spend too much time solving one problem while ten others sit there waiting for a solution.

Self-Motivation

Every business owner must be good at self-motivation. You won’t have anyone telling you what to do next. You must be good at developing your own to-do list and working through that list to get things done as quickly as possible.
Everything that needs to get done for your business must be done by you, from finding funding and developing your product, to developing a marketing plan and making sales. You will be the only one creating plans and altering those plans as you test various business theories. You need to know when something is working and when it’s not, so you can quickly make adjustments and get the business back on track.
You must have a great deal of self-confidence in your abilities and you must know where you want the business to be in the next year or the next five years.

Sales and Marketing

The two most important skills for any SharePoint_Dashboard_Bar_Graphbusiness owner are sales and marketing. If you’re not good at these two things, don’t even try to start a business unless you find a partner who is. You could develop the greatest product or service in the world, but if you don’t know how to attract and keep customers, your business will fail.
You must spend time developing your marketing plan, including identifying your target audience and how you will reach them. You must know who your competition is and how you will sell against that competition to convince people that your product or service is the best to buy. If you’re opening a retail store, you must come up with a marketing plan that will differentiate your store from other similar stores.

Time Management

As you review all the skills you need, you’ll probably think to yourself, “How can I possibly do all that in one day?” Well you can’t. Good time management is knowing what you need to do yourself and what you can ask someone else to do for you.
In some cases, you may be able to pass the task on to an employee or ask a vendor’s representative to do the task for you. You may decide you need to hire a professional – accountant, lawyer, consultant, or other specialist – to take care of some tasks for you, so you can spend time doing the other things you must do yourself.
If you’re running a one-person business, you must put together a to-do list in the morning of all the things that must get done that day; prioritize that list and realize that some things just won’t get done because of other problems or emergencies that will come your way. You must be able to multitask and keep a bunch of balls bouncing in the air at all times. As you find a few quiet minutes here and there throughout the day, get something else done on your list.
You also must be good at separating your work life from your home life, even if your business is in your home. You can’t spend 100 percent of your time and effort on your business and ignore the needs of your family and friends. Not only will it be bad for you emotionally and physically, it can also destroy your relations with your family and friends, support that you’ll need to keep yourself going.

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Cheers! – There’s No Business Like the Bar Business

You probably came to this business Elephant_Barexpecting it to be fun. Well, you’re right. It can be a ton of fun when you run your business well. But you may have some other ideas that aren’t as realistic.

The Hours and Days Are Short

The hours and days are long, but time does pass quickly when you’re having fun. Busy days go by fast. Slow days last twice as long. Be prepared for long hours.
You’re not only the owner; you’re also the employee when someone doesn’t show up. Hint: Open your tavern six days a week instead of seven when you first start your business. This way you can give everyone, including yourself, a break. It’s also a good idea to have two shifts. Overworked people don’t perform at their best capabilities. Careful scheduling and good managers make your life easier. Hire well; fire seldom.

Free Drinks All Day, Every Day

Your job is to serve, not drink. Don’t make the mistake of sitting around partying with your friends while the business goes on around you. This job is an investment designed to make money. Work hard in your bar. Play hard at other places. Every cocktail is money, so don’t drink your profits.
Don’t confuse being friendly with your staff and being friends with your staff. If you’re hanging out in the bar with your staff, you’re in the danger zone. Ultimately, if you’re drinking in your place of business, you’re taking a risk. At some point you’ll embarrass yourself or someone will take advantage of you, most likely by stealing from you in some way.

There’s Not Too Much Paperwork

As a bar owner, you take care of lots of details, and many of those details require – you guessed it – paperwork! Your life can be overrun by paperwork: invoices, statements, income-tax forms, state forms, alcohol beverage control forms, and employment forms. And that’s just for starters! Have an experienced accountant help you with the bills and taxes to eliminate 50 percent of the paperwork you have to handle. Then you can spend your time with the other paperwork: scheduling forms, monthly promotions calendar, inventory forms, checkbook, order forms, payroll, and other stuff. You’re not finished until the paperwork is done.

Your Family Will Want to Work for You

If you’re very lucky, your family will help you, and it’ll be a pleasant experience for everyone. But always remember that people will disagree (with you or each other), and someone has to be the owner. Have a job description for every position (whether or not family members fill those jobs) so no one’s feelings get hurt.
If you do decide to work with your family, explicitly go over your expectations with them, especially your rules about handling cash and inventory. When you mix money with family, relatives can become accustomed to unintended perks, including helping themselves to loans, a bottle of scotch, or free draft beers. Make sure they understand what’s acceptable and what isn’t.

You Can Hire Good Help in a Snap

Help means just that: Help! Good,SONY DSC experienced help is hard to find and harder to keep. As the saying goes, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. If your place is busy and everyone makes money, everyone will be happy. But you’ll have bumps in the road – slow days, bad weather. Be prepared!
Showing respect to your employees is the most important step in keeping good help. Don’t correct anyone in front of customers or other employees. Treat them fairly, always. Good employees are hard to find. And remember, you’re only as good as those who work for you!

You Know Everything about Everything

Every owner and bartender at one time or another is asked to settle an argument. Don’t be the expert; let the facts speak for themselves. Keep a sports almanac, the latest copy of the Guinness World Records, plus a general cinema and movie trivia guide behind the bar. Let these references solve the arguments. If you have a computer, go to your favorite Internet search engine to get the facts. No one can argue with the facts.
Do not get into arguments with customers. Some people are always right, or think they are. Worst-case scenario: Agree to disagree. You don’t want to lose customers over a trivial discussion.

Nobody Would Steal from You

Know your inventories. Watch them daily, Bottles_at_a_Barmonthly, whatever you need to stay on top of your business.
Here are a few specific rules to help you keep honest people honest:
>Ensure that all cocktails are rung up immediately.
>Use a computer-generated ticket that includes the table and check number for all food and cocktails.
>Keep staff coats, purses, and other personal belongings in a safe place – away from the door.
>Have your managers and bar staff keep a diary or communication log. Include the opening and closing times, who tended bar, and which wait-staff members were on duty. Immediately write down any problems and the solution. Keep good records; don’t rely on your memory.

Everyone Is Trustworthy

Set up effective cash-handling procedures and consistently follow them. Establish your policy for complimentary drinks and stick to it. If you’ve established a firm policy, it’s tougher for employees not to follow it.
It is strongly recommended that bartenders send the cash drawers to the closing managers rather than count the drawers themselves. At a minimum, the bartender counts the drawer and the closing manager recounts and verifies it. This may seem unnecessary, but double- check all your orders. Check in everything before signing the delivery invoices. Double-check your copies against any mailed statements and pricing agreements to make sure you’re charged only for what you receive at the agreed-upon price. Verify everything, everything. Keep everyone honest!

Everyone Loves the Boss

No one likes the boss! Respects, admires, fears – yes, it’s possible. If you treat people with respect, you’ll be respected. But it’s nearly impossible to successfully run a bar or tavern and be liked by everyone. You’re running a business, not running for public office. Write down the rules and regulations and explain them the day you hire someone. Establish a consistent orientation process and go through it with employees on their first day. Ask them to read the rules and sign off on them the same day. You’ll have fewer mistakes.

Anyone Can Run a Bar or Tavern

The bar business captivates and intrigues people. People think it’s glamorous and exciting. Customers see you working where they play and assume that it’s always a party. It can be a party, and it can be fun. But to be successful, you must maintain firm control, consistent procedures, and vigilance. Running a bar or tavern is definitely not easy. But hard work, a great attitude, and determination do pay off!

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