Business Talk Newsletter is conducting a four part interview with N. Michael Miller. Mr. Miller is a business owner, venture capitalist and published author. Mr. Miller can be contacted at StartYourBusinessHelp.com which advises new business owners with consulting, business plan preparation and other services.
|Mr. N. Michael Miller |
This interview will consist of four parts:
(1) Start a new business now in this economy and the outlook for starting a business in early 2011 (in the Oct 14th Edition),
(2) Funding the startup of a new business (In the Oct 21st Edition),
(3) Managing a new business and how to do it right (In this Edition), and
(4) Understanding how to keep a new business financially healthy (coming on Nov 4th).
Here is Part Three of our Interview with N. Michael Miller.
BTN: To recap the previous two interviews, we first talked about whether or not this is a good time to start a new business and you concluded that it is a great time to start a new business with the right pre-startup planning process. We also discussed funding a new business. You described several funding options along with the important emphasis that a new business must be well funded from the very beginning and some ways to make sure that happens.
Now let's discuss how to properly manage a new business. Give us your overview of how a new owner should operate the business.
NMM: How you manage a new business is entirely different if we are talking about a retail business or a service business or a professional type business. So I will give you a general overview of what every new business owner should do in managing a new business.
I would break down what a business owner should do into these three topics:
1. Always look to improve
2. Record keeping
3. Grow sensibly
BTN: I would guess that most business owners are looking for ways to improve. How is this important to the new business owner?
NMM: The basic idea behind continuous improvement is that there's always a better way, and never a best way.
By seeking out the better way, the small business owner can make significant improvements to quality, efficiency, employee satisfaction, customer service and ultimately the bottom line.
Whether you are in a retail, service or manufacturing industry, the cost of materials and labor used in your operation is likely to increase over time. As a result, any improvements that can be made in your process will result in savings necessary to offset increasing material costs. If your small business is to stay viable in the long run, you are going to need to embrace continuous improvement.