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The Language Of Business
By Maria Marsala

There are certain concepts that successful business owners create, and then refine, over and over again. Does your business have a mission statement? Have you defined the strategies and objectives of your business? What if a lender asks about your ROI?

Successful business people talk to each other in these terms. (If you're curious, skip ahead to the end of this article and read other concepts that you need to define to increase your chances for business success.) If you're not familiar with these concepts, brush up on the "language" of business. Spending your energy defining and applying these concepts to your business can build a strong, solid foundation.

Plan on spending some time crafting these terms as they relate to you and your business. The language of business provides a handy framework for review, but there is so much more to each of the concepts than its dictionary definition. In order for the concepts to be effective, itís necessary to internalize and use them daily. And keep in mind how not using these principles in your business may cause problems later on. Consider these events:

-- The, Enron, and WorldCom fiascos are excellent examples of what can happen when businesses forget about the basics. Some folks decided they were smarter than more than a hundred years of proven-to-work business concepts.

-- Established business owners who are stuck. To date, I have not worked with an established business that is able to provide me with a basic business planóvision, mission, objectives, strategies, etc. Some companies did create a plan for funding purposes but havenít looked at it for years and years. If youíre running your business properly, youíre looking at your business and marketing plan at least once a week.

-- The blackout on the east coast taught us to make sure we have backup plans and that our web hosting companies have back up servers, too. Do you know that most companies are so computerized that their customer service departments donít know how to process orders?

-- Your death. Many business owners donít consider this possibility at all. The goal is that in case of an emergency, illness, death (or even a vacation!), your business will run efficiently without you. Is your business this ready?

Weaving these ideas into the operation and administration of a business produces clarity and helps management to make informed decisions, save time, and reduce expenses. Yes, some businesses function well without the groundwork for a time. However, at some point within the first five years, the owner(s) end up "stuck" or decide to sell their businesses. Itís then that they realize that the missing pieceóyes, you got itóis that they're not speaking the language of business óyet!

Have you added these concepts to your business?

Vision Statement -- Mission Statement -- Objectives Strategies -- Marketing Plan -- Ideal Client Profile USP (Unique Selling Proposition) -- ROI (Return on Investment) Assets Liabilities -- Back up Plans Operations/Procedure Manual -- Licenses -- Insurance Customer Service -- Asking for Help -- Hiring Help -- Networking

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© 2003 Maria Marsala, Business Growth Specialist.

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