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Jeff: Dave, what would you say are the basic fundamentals of being an entrepreneur? Dave: Well certainly, it's the areas where a lot of times business owners neglect, things like finance, money. You know, what are your numbers? I ask business owners a lot of times, you know are you winning or are you losing? And that's sort of how I view the financials in a business. It's not that money is the most important thing; it's that money is the score. It lets us know how well we are doing. How can you know whether or not you are winning or losing a basketball game without a scoreboard? Well, we want to know what our wins were, our scores in terms of income, and we want to know what our losses are.
But if an entrepreneur isn't generating financial reports on at least a monthly basis and reviewing those reports, they're really sort of flying blind. So that's one of the basics that they need to have in place. Another fundamental of being an entrepreneur is management--is learning what it means to manage other people, learning what it means to truly delegate, and how to inspire the people around you. I think a lot of entrepreneurs assume that their employees need to be like them, that they need to have the same personality.
They don't, and thank goodness they don't, or otherwise we would have lots of crazy entrepreneurs running around. Employees come from a different perspective, and entrepreneurs should recognize that it's their opportunity to teach employees. A lot of times entrepreneurs are very self-motivated people that are into self-help literature and reading materials, and I am not saying that other individuals professionally don't do that. But entrepreneurs are sort of ravenous beasts for that.
They love to get all of that material that they can. But are they sharing that with their employees? Are they teaching other people? And are they leading by example with what they do? So management is another one of those fundamentals that's so important, and then sales. And I think deep down everyone recognizes that sales are so important for business, but a lot of times entrepreneurs sail by the seat of their pants. It's sort of just whatever I need to say, whatever I need to do to make a sale, I'm going to do it.
That works to a point, but once the business starts to mature, once you have multiple employees, you can make a really big mess if you don't teach consistent solid system. And on the other side, if you have a consistent system; if you take what you do as an entrepreneur that makes you successful in sales, and you document it, and you train other people how to do that, then you can replicate that same success with other people. So it's sort of that combination of systems but also really putting emphasis on the sales side of things and getting your sales systems consistent.
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