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In the March 14, 2012 Wall Street Journal Jason Gay wrote a very entertaining article titled, “The 23 Rules of March Madness.” Not to be outdone, here are:

23 Basic Rules of Business

And there are many, many more. Pay close attention to the first two, the last two and, especially, any you can personally identify with.

  1. It’s always about people; whether issues or opportunities it always comes down to the people.
  2. Be a breath of fresh air to your business, meaning be positive, creative and enlightening.
  3. Listen to your employees.
  4. Build teams and make sure they work together.
  5. Have a marketing plan (and use it).
  6. Understand sales and the difference between sales and marketing.
  7. Get your management team to work together for growth, not be bogged down protecting their ideas, their tasks, etc.
  8. Delegate, monitor and follow-up.
  9. Learn from your customers (meaning you have to talk to them regularly).
  10. Have and follow a sales plan.
  11. Have a culture of growth.
  12. New paradigms usually work. Just because you always have done it one way doesn’t mean it’s the best way.
  13. Have an exit plan.
  14. Drive your value (up).
  15. Understand your numbers and have a great management reporting system and reports.
  16. Buy another business to accelerate growth.
  17. Take action!
  18. Reduce dependencies in your business; especially any dependency on the owner.
  19. Understand the difference between cash flow and profit.
  20. Be able to take a month long vacation with no ill e ffects to your business.
  21. Get to the position where you spend time working on innovation, not problem solving.
  22. Know your competitive advantage.
  23. Implementation is why the best plans falter; get and use help implementing.

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