4 Rules of running a successful business

In this article, we gather the collective wisdom of successful businessman and entrepreneurs.

1 Protect your reputation

Warren Buffet is often quoted saying "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently." Your reputation is the ultimate brand value. I would further add that your reputation is actually more important than your cashflow. It is essential that you never do anything that you do not want to see on the front page of the newspaper. So, naturally, you should always protect your reputation for the values that you stand for.

2 Be a low-cost operator

Be stringent with your spending, not cheap. Lower operating costs ensure that you can offer your services or products for less than what your competitors can. It also ensures that you do not have to take on huge debts just to survive in an ever-changing marketplace.

3 Be hyperfocused

Do not squander your attention and resources on side-projects that are not part of your main business strategy. Keep your business strategy hyperfocused on the main bread earners for your company. And keep them few.

4 Associate with the right people

Warren Buffet has never split Berkshire's class A stock, thereby making it extremely expensive for most investors. However, that has ensured that the people who hold Berkshire's stock, they hold it for a long term and align with Buffet's strategy. By choosing the right products and strategy, you can always ensure that you are associating with the people that you really want to align with. Short term thinking, and short term focus will reap immediate benefits, but you customers will also be focused on the short-term and you will never build a long-term clientele.

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