Just as there are facts
of life that affect us personally, there are facts of business life
that affect us as entrepreneurs. Bill McBean, author of the book
The Facts of Business Life: What Every Successful Business Owner
Knows That You Don�t (www.FactsOfBusinessLife.com),
shares what he has learned over the course of a successful career to
help you avoid common mistakes and steer your company in the
direction you want it to go.
The following is an
overview of McBean�s seven facts of business life, which he suggests
will help you to build a strong, lasting foundation for your
Fact 1: If you don�t
lead, no one will follow.
Good business leadership begins with defining the destination and
direction of your company and deciding how the business should look
and operate when it arrives. It also involves developing and
continuously improving on a set of skills in order to move your
business from where it is today to where you want it to be tomorrow.
Fact 2: If you don�t
control it, you don�t own it.
Control is the owner�s management reality. If you don�t control your
company by defining key tasks and dictating how they must be
handled, then you don�t truly �own� the business.
Fact 3: Protecting your
company�s assets should be your first priority.
Basically, assets � which include both tangible and intangible
assets � are what power sales, profits, and growth. Not the other
Fact 4: Planning is
about preparing for the future, not predicting it.
Nobody knows what tomorrow, next week, or next year will bring for
your business. But you can make educated guesses based on the most
current, accurate information available as well as your own past
experiences, and this should be an ongoing process.
Fact 5: If you don�t
market your business, you won�t have one.
Maybe working to market and advertise your product isn�t your cup of
tea. Or maybe you believe your product is so great that it should
speak for itself. If so, too bad � you�re going to have to do it
anyway. The bottom line is, if people don�t know about your product,
you won�t be successful.
Fact 6: The marketplace
is a war zone.
Every company has competitors, and if it doesn�t and it�s
successful, it soon will. Successful owners know they have to fight
not only to win market share but to retain it as well. That�s why
you must develop a warrior mentality and maintain it for as long as
you�re at the head of your business.
Fact 7: You don�t just
have to know the business you�re in; you have to know business.
In addition to knowing the inner workings and nuances of your
particular industry, you also need to understand the various aspects
of business as it is more broadly defined. That includes subjects
such as accounting, finance, business law, personnel issues, and
more, and how all of these impact each other and the decisions you
Canadian Bill McBean
is the author of
The Facts of Business
Life: What Every Successful Business Owner Knows That You Don�t.
A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, and Mount
Royal College in Calgary, Alberta, he began his career with General
Motors of Canada in 1976.
He is currently
general partner of McBean Partners, a family-owned investment
company, partner and chair of Our-Mentors, a company that works with
owners to improve their businesses for long-term success, and Net
Claims Now, which provides companies in the restoration industry
with invoicing, accounts receivable collections, cash flow services,
business coaching, and business lead generation services.