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12 Feb 2021

The Business Corner: Making better business decisions

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February 12, 2021 Category: Color Of Money Posted by:

Editor’s note: Introducing the SUN’s new financial column, The Business Corner with Teresa M. Lundy, principal and founder of TML Communications.

Teresa M. Lundy

Teresa M. Lundy

In the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani was sued for $1.3 billion by Dominion Voting Systems, which manufacturers voting machines for elections in the United States and internationally. The company claims that statements Giuliani made on social media, television, podcasts, and other platforms will cost them at least $200 million over the next five years.

Of course, no one knows how this lawsuit will resolve itself over what will likely be the next few years. But Dominion is suing Giuliani for what he said in the media, which was a choice (perhaps motivated by fees, politics, creating a narrative or other factors). 

As the principal and founder of TML Communications, I know how many decisions business owners are faced with daily.

Here are a few tips to help you make better ones: 

Don’t underestimate the value of planning. The importance of critically thinking about the short term and long-term future of your business is vital to success. Creating a plan and taking the steps to execute the plan will determine whether you reach your goals.

Ensure you are pricing your services and/or products correctly. Often business owners plan their pricing around covering their costs while making a very small amount of profit. But to be successful, it is critical that pricing reflect the true value of the service or product to your customer. 

Create a personal board of directors. As you work to become more successful, you should find a trusted group of people you can turn to for advice. Earlier this month, Wharton dean Erika James told the Wall Street Journal about how vital this is to continually refine her approach as a leader. 

Have a bias towards action. Being an entrepreneur involves many sacrifices, late nights, risks, and obstacles to become successful. Another obstacle that you need to avoid is focusing so much on planning, or thinking, that you never get anything done. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said “If you’re not embarrassed by your first product release, you’ve released it too late.” The key point is that you can improve your product/service after launch and should not get stuck in the planning process. Some people never stop planning and miss their chance.

Hire a consultant. After you have reached a certain level of success, for example a consistent six-figure profit, consider hiring professional help to get you to the next level. A business with $500,000 in revenue can typically double their sales with the proper strategy. Spend the time researching and developing that strategy in house and hire outside help if necessary.

I hope these tips are helpful as you continue your path to success.

Teresa M. Lundy is the principal and founder of TML Communications, a strategic public relations, crisis communications and community engagement firm serving corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies. The firm has served clients including DoorDash, Lyft and the Reform Alliance.

Follow her on Twitter:@TeresaMLundy

Disclaimer: The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this column not intended to replace or substitute for any professional or financial advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist. This column, its author, the Philadelphia Sunday SUN newspaper and publisher are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.

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