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  • Pittsburgh Investor

3 Things Every Business Owner Needs To Know

Running a business in Pittsburgh is a combination of skill, hard work, education, and resilience. Every owner will at some point experience something that pushes them back a few steps. They will all have to accomplish a task they know nothing about. And they will all have to sacrifice their time to make their business a success.

These are all parts of the process and impossible to avoid. In order to get to the other side it's important to focus on these 3 skills.

1. Outsourcing

The first step in running a business is trying to keep everything afloat without doing everything yourself. Micromanagement is a major issue most businesses in Pittsburgh have to learn to avoid. The first reason this is bad is because people need to feel like they have a voice and the ability to put their own touch on the company internally. The more important reason is efficiency. We all have 24 hours in a day and can only do so much in that alloted time. Outsourcing is absolutely necessary if you want to scale your business or free up your time. It's impossible to do everything so pass along some of the work to people who specialize in that particular task. If you are building a business in Pittsburgh, you must learn your skills and tasks you're passionate about, then outsource everything else to people who are.

2. Knowing Your Customer

This is a skill that many people overlook. Most business owners focus strictly on sales, but not collecting data along the way. They don't understand the behaviors on why their consumer is buying, or why some aren't buying. It's crucial as a small business to really know the ins and outs of the customer you are selling to. What are their problems? What makes them happy? What is important to them? How can you make their experience better? How old are they? The list goes on and on. Knowing who your ideal customer is makes a huge impact on your decisions for marketing, price points, and what services you offer. Businesses tend to get emotional about their products and services and won't adapt to the consumer. The customer is the one that keeps your business in Pittsburgh afloat so you need to listen to what they are saying!

3. How To Be Lean

No this doesn't have to do with your diet and gym routine. Being lean means running a business as efficiently and with as little expenses as possible. Many times I see business owners purchasing things out of emotional responses, or because they made a few sales and have some cash left over. It is crucial to "live broke" as a business until you've perfected the model and have tremendous cash flow. Keeping costs low will be important in many factors. First of all, the lower your expenses the higher your margins. This equals more dollars in your pocket as an owner in Pittsburgh. Next, you will be used to making things work on a budget, so in an economic downturn there will be very little you will need to change. Owners that are spending money with no rhyme or reason, or buying luxury items will have to drastically change their habits if the economy tanks and their sales are cut in half. Being lean is always a good strategy in business as it makes it so easy to stay open. The lower your costs, the easier it is to float the business another month in tough times.

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