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Father Knows Best: 10 Powerful Business Tips from Dad
Happy Father’s Day, everyone! My dad has been hanging out here in New York City with me and my sister, Royce, over the past few days and throughout his visit, we’ve been soaking up his love, humor (he really should consider stand up), and of course, all of his solicited and sometimes unsolicited advice on how to win in life and business. He’s got the gift of gab, so most times he assumes that we aren’t listening but little does he know, we’re truly hanging on to every word. So with that said, it’s only right that I share some of his wise words with you today. Grab a comfy seat, your beverage of choice, and take notes as my pops, Mr. Nathan L. Bluitt, Jr., shares 10 helpful business tips that have helped him successfully navigate the world of entrepreneurship over the past 30 years:
- Have faith in the God that dwells in you. Running a business comes with highs, lows, and more uncertainties than most people are even comfortable with. Remain thankful through the good times and keep in mind that “this too shall pass” as you walk through the valleys of small business ownership.
- Develop a comprehensive business plan, but be open to making adjustments along the way for they will definitely come. The destination remains the same, but how you get there may require re-routing over the years.
- Always consult with legal counsel before entering into partnerships and by all means, never move forward without putting a contractual agreement in place. Doing so is critical, especially if your vision involves the acquisition of an existing business or the positioning of a new start up. Having all of your legal i’s dotted and t’s crossed will keep you protected and decrease future legal issues.
- Create an internal team of independent contractors that will serve as your professional consultants (i.e., accountants, bookkeepers, and lawyers). Many of us take pride in being a “one man/woman show” but as your business grows, you’ll quickly realize that even if you wanted to, you simply can’t do it all. “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt.
- Manage expectations and be clear on your team’s roles and responsibilities. Not doing so certainly can and will cause internal conflict that have a negative impact on the services rendered to your clients.
- Know your target audience and what their specific needs are. The most successful businesses are launched to serve a specific community and offer solutions to challenges they face. Know exactly who they are, what they need, and how you can provide it.
- Be highly aware of your competition’s strengths, weaknesses and how you can service the client better than they can.
- Be open and receptive to failures as you execute your business plan. Remember, each failure is an opportunity to learn an important lesson and improve your game plan.
- Stay thirsty for knowledge. Keep items like continued education classes, conferences, seminars and panels on your radar throughout the year. Every industry changes and with the power of technology these days, it’s happening at rapid speed. Keep younger folks around you, as they will help you stay on top of the latest trends, but also make it a point to sit down with someone who has been in the game longer than you as learning from their experiences will also be critical to your success.
- Remember, any entrepreneurial endeavor is a marathon, not a sprint. Although the journey may be challenging at times, you can’t be victorious if you don’t stay in the race.
About Nathan L. Bluitt, Jr.:
Nathan L. Bluitt, Jr. is the Founder of Williams & Bluitt Funeral Home, the largest African-American funeral home in Indianapolis, Indiana. Bluitt also serves as the owner of Bluitt & Son Funeral Home in Kokomo, Indiana, which was founded by his father, the late Nathan L. Bluitt, Sr. in 1957. As a multi-passionate serial entrepreneur, Bluitt is the founder of AFNfunerals.com (Affordable Funerals Network) which currently services 241 U.S. markets and the owner/operator of Rose Royce Removal Service. When he’s not giving back to his community, you can find him cruising around town in his beloved Harley Davidson or acquiring new passport stamps and exploring the world.