As a tax advisor to small businesses in the Greater Vancouver area, I have worked with many different personalities over the past 15 years. However, a handful of my clients, over the last 10 years, have grown so rapidly that I am in awe when we meet for the year end work. This is because their successes are not necessarily due to the unique industry in which their business operates. This blog post outlines my observations of the decisions these businesses have made consistently over the year in order to become successful and guarantee future prosperity.
- Ensure the business is adequately capitalized. They have enough funds to survive the worse case scenario over the short term. They resist the temptation to upgrade to a bigger home or start a large renovation unless the business is on a strong footing. They recognize that it is the business that produces cash flow.
- Reinvest retained earnings back into the business. This can be in the form of attending industry seminars, buying the latest information systems and software, or sending their staff to professional development classes. In other words, they invest money in technology and human resources, not personal expenses.
- Practice fair and ethical in their dealings with clients, vendors, and employees. As a result of this approach, their energy is expended on profitable activities. Employee turnover and client attrition rate is low so very little resources are needed for training and advertising. Happy and well-trained staff results in great margins! Clients are also happy, encouraging plenty of word-of-mouth referrals.
- Work on business affairs full-time. They give the business their all in mind, body and spirit.
- Offer a great product and charge full price for it. Successful business owners know that a mediocre product at discounted price is not good enough.
- Strive to have a lifestyle balance. They enjoy their family time. They go on vacation at least once a year and make it a point to do so both in good times and bad times. They are passionate and purposeful with their businesses and lives.
I consider myself extremely fortunate that I have had the privilege of working with successful Vancouver small businesses. The biggest benefit of serving successful clients is having been able to learn so much from them. Every encounter I have with them, whether it is a simple phone call or a complex tax restructure, reaffirms that their communication and decision making styles can guarantee success.
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