Business Corner: Do's and Don'ts of Successful Business - Part 4

woman business owner standing in front of shop

Do's and Don'ts of Successful Business

This is the next installment in our successful small business basics series. We love entrepreneurs and what they contribute to society and the economy. But unfortunately only a small number of new start up businesses last, and even fewer thrive. We want to help your business as much as we can, so here are some helpful do’s and don’ts:


  • Create a roadmap for growth

  • Diversify

  • Project your cash flow


  • Forget to plan for trouble

  • Wait to get help

  • Use cash to buy long-term assets

This month's suggestions:

DO #4: Hire and retain the best workers

Human resources is an area of business that can make or break you.

It's a great idea to 'hire up' if you possibly can. Getting help that is smarter than you in some areas can really increase the value of your business. 

Another great suggestion is to "hire slow and fire fast". Setting clear expectations for your probationary period is important.

And as Covid slowly comes to a close, there will be more competition for the best workers.

Some tips to consider:

  • A good marketing plan will build your presence in the community and attract not only customers but good employees

  • Be open to immigrants and other under-used groups like indigenous people

  • Accommodate the working styles of different generations

  • Provide training and advancement opportunities. This can boost your retention more than salary and benefits!


DON'T #4: Micromanage

It's important to maintain control over your business. But not delegating will take a toll on:

  • Business results. You will become the bottleneck that limits customer service.

  • Employee engagement.

  • Your personal life.

As the classic book The E-Myth Revisited makes so clear, you need to separate yourself from your business and build a machine that will run to a large degree on its own if you want to have a business with intrinsic value and not just a job.

Delegating is a way to share the fun of accomplishment, a way to leverage more work, a way to train your people and demonstrate trust, and a sign of wisdom!

To delegate:

  1. Select the appropriate person for the task

  2. Clearly define the task, then explain and communicate

  3. Clarify what the objectives are - what does success look like?

  4. Provide necessary resources, including training and support for their decisions

  5. Follow up at progress intervals and on completion

  6. Be willing to take the final responsibility.

(Note: thanks to the folks at BDC - Business Development Bank of Canada - for the inspiration for this series.)