Keep these five acronyms in mind when doing business and you'll be sure to stay in business.
Entrepreneurs have a lot on their brains, but not minding the right thing can be disastrous for business. While maintaining the grind, here are five acronyms to keep in mind.
R.O.I (Return on Investment): For those crazy enough to brave the world of entrepreneurship -- rather the intent is to launch a line of high-end dresses or build software that advances teaching and learning -- your money and time are your greatest assets. The return on the two, rather short-term or long-term, should be at the forefront of your mind daily as you navigate business. If you're not focused on building value, leverage and/or capacity when you invest time and/or money, at the end of the day you'll yield no results; and at the end of the year you'll be out of sight and out mind.
R&D (Research & Development): Live locally and think globally can be used in many contexts. But as it relates to business, it means understanding that regardless of where you're headquartered, you are competing with the globe; which means comprehending what the globe is doing as you simultaneously study the strategy of your direct local competitor. Money, no matter how glorified in business, can't buy innovation. Research the market, develop products and services that are needed and wanted, and do it better than anyone else. The easiest way to be better than your competition is to do what they're not doing. The only way to know what they're not doing is to research aggressively and progressively.
A.B.C (Always Be Closing): Real entrepreneurs have grasped the concept that the word "free time" doesn't exist. When you decide the ultimate fate of your fortune, you're aware that a deal always needs to be closed; a partner always needs to be courted; your capacity for knowledge always needs to be expanded; and your customer service could always be improved upon. Unless you've accomplished everything you set out to do, there's no time to let your guard down. While you might be the hottest thing in your city, your market can be taken away overnight by someone in another country whose work ethic should be considered illegal.
M.O.U (Memorandum of Understanding): There's no doubt while in business you'll come across amazing people you'll want to work with. Actually, great business people aim to work collaboratively with others to accomplish a goal or a mission; or simply to increase value. But the one thing that great business people do differently than good business people is draft a memorandum of understanding. The reason a M.O.U is so important is a) it helps keep everyone accountable to what they said they would do; and b) it clearly lays out deliverables and expectations. Also, if you need to go to court to argue that you were on the losing end of a collaboration or project, you can always tout the M.O.U as a legally binding contract.
C.T.A (Call to Action): The most memorable marketers and public speakers have one thing in common: the call to action. For content producers the C.T.A maybe just to share the article. For a religious leader, the C.T.A maybe to increase the time spent studying the good book. For an activist, the C.T.A maybe to sign a petition to get a multi-national corporation to pay its fair share of taxes. Regardless of the actual action, each time you're in front of a potential client, partner, investor or ally, don't pitch yourself, the product or the problem without including the C.T.A, even if it's as simple as ask them to follow you on Twitter.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I'm Flood the Drummer and I'm Drumming for JUSTICE!