Simple - A collection of business basics

Simple is a collection of business basics that I wish I had been given when I was starting out. If I had access to them when I began in business it would have saved me a lot of pain.

The concept of business has become so seemingly complicated, and surrounded by myth and mystique (often disguised as something else), that we have lost sight of those simple building blocks which should combine to create successful businesses. We have tangled ourselves up in mission statements, and visions, and being so politically correct, that the basics are forgotten.

This collection of articles is about those basics. Basics gathered from experience, learned from trial, and from error. And honed by repetition.

The ideas you will find here are not mine. I have merely collated them. They have been influenced and shaped by the ideas and actions of many others. Some have been guiding lights I have read, or known, and admired. Others are bastards I have met - and very often wished I had not. They all taught me something along the way, whether or not they intended to, and now I share them with you.

The best companies invariably have the best people

The opposite of this is that the worst companies have the worst people. Failing businesses I have gone into invariably have people who don’t want to be there, with bad attitudes, few skills, and are badly lead and managed. They may not be bad people, but the circumstances they find themselves in combine to ensure they invest their skills and energy elsewhere. They will be on the phone to their mates, texting under the desk, and sneaking longer breaks whenever they can. And that’s just when they are taking time out from trying to find a better job – where they get more money for doing less.

The law of reciprocity

The law of reciprocity simply states that "what goes round - comes round", or, to put it another more positive way "you get out what you put in".

Lead from the front

In order to know why a business is successful – or why it fails – we need to know what exactly a business is. We all know what a job is. The common notion, especially in those economies where small businesses rule, is that ownership of a small business is like having a job and being the boss at the same time.

The little stuff does matter

Someone else once said that leopards never change their spots. They were both right. Simply by walking into a business you can gain a good indication of what financial and organizational shape the business is in from the entranceway or foyer. Intentionally or not those first few steps give the game away. They will tell you whether anyone cares. They will tell you whether anyone in the organization bothers to attempt to see themselves through others’ eyes.

What is a business?

In order to know why a business is successful – or why it fails – we need to know what exactly a business is. We all know what a job is. The common notion, especially in those economies where small businesses rule, is that ownership of a small business is like having a job and being the boss at the same time.