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It is often believed that individuals learn their business intelligence and decision-making capabilities through experience and not school. For the most part, this is true. Experience and learning from your mistakes become an excellent teacher to ensure that your business stays afloat no matter what happens.

Real-life learning is shaped a mind to be decisive.  It motivates you to make decisions that others can’t or won’t. There is no simple recipe for gaining the experience necessary to take your business to the next level because each person has to find out what it is that suits him or her.

The only short way out of learning from personal experience is by linking yourself to others around you and learning from them. Your peers in college, your senior manager, the CEO of a company you used to work for, these people can shape the way you think – allowing you to assess and evaluate your situation from a broader perspective.

Having kept my own business afloat for over 14 years, I’ve identified three key elements that I consider essential in helping your small or medium business thrive.

The 3 Essentials

These are my 3 most important and practical suggestions for young entrepreneurs to follow so they can efficiently and effectively supervise their businesses in this robust corporate world:

Customers

Nothing is more important than identifying and retaining your customers. Always provide helpful solutions to their problems, and this will sell your brand effectively, every time. Far too many businesses depend on transforming themselves into supply chain units, have a small base of critical customers, and neglect to invest the time and effort required to strengthen their bonds with their customers to form solid relationships.

Keep in mind that until your customer has paid his bill in full, you haven’t really done business with them. Some customers adopt the annoying habit of paying their bills slowly, making you their unofficial lending institution My advice to you – completely avoid them! You want your money working for you.

Evaluating your Risks

Evaluating and managing your risks and their possible effects is essential to protecting your business investment. Business insurance can protect you from financial ruin, but you should protect your brand identity by developing mitigating strategies and contingency plans to avoid the risks becoming reality. The last thing you want to do is rely on the assumption that everything will always turn out fine if only you do the right thing. Always put a microscope over the risks ahead and formulate winning strategies.

Opportunities

Look for ways to create more value for your customers and clients. For example, change your pricing, offer new products, and provide your customers with an incentive to stimulate demand levels. This requires you to take a long view, and to be willing to make an investment in innovations that will benefit you and your customers and clients.

Stay alert to changing trends in marketing. Social media and smart technologies drive business growth, and their approaches are constantly changing. Keep up with them!

The Bottom Line

These business fundamentals may seem straightforward, but you’d be surprised how often these basics are forgotten in today’s hurried and competitive economy. How often have you heard business leaders talk about “going back to basics”? Why do you think this is so common? It’s because “going back to basics” works. Think about it, dedicate yourself to it, and do it!