Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sam Walton's Rules for Building a Business

In the ever encompassing search for all things that maximize your potential, I've stumbled upon a set of rules written by Sam Walton (founder of Walmart) in relation to running your own business.  I struggled at first on whether to write about these rules, but I came to the conclusion that if one were really to maximize their potential, they would capitalize on every idea which would most likely result in running your own small business.  With that in mind, I present to you Sam Walton's Rules for Building a Business.

1.) Commit to your business.  Believe in it more than anybody else.  I think I overcame every single one of my personal shortcomings by the sheer passion I brought to my work.

2.) Share your profits with all your Associates, and treat them as partners.  In turn, they will treat you as a partner, and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations.

3.) Motivate your partners.  Money and ownership alone aren't enough.  Constantly, day-by-day, think of new and more interesting ways to motivate and challenge your partners.

4.) Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners.  The more they know, the more they'll understand.  The more they understand, the more they'll care.

5.) Appreciate everything your Associates do for the business.  A paycheck and a stock option will buy one kind of loyalty.  But all of us like to be told how much somebody appreciates what we do for them.

6.) Celebrate your successes.  Find some humor in your failures.  Don't take yourself so seriously.

7.) Listen to everyone in your company.  And figure out ways to get them talking.

8.) Exceed your customers' expectations.  If you do, they'll come back over and over.

9.) Control your expenses better than your competition.  This is where you can always find the competitive advantage.

10.) Swim upstream.  Go the other way.  Ignore the conventional wisdom.  If everybody else is doing it one way, there's a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction.

It's important to recognize the source for all these rules of business.  Even though Walmart is an operations innovator, it doesn't go without its controversies.  Lawsuits and law pay have accompanied the company in every expansion.  That said, there are some important parts that I particularly like, especially number 10.  Being a business contrarian doesn't always pay off, but if you can find your niche, you'll likely succeed.

Even if you don't have a business, many of these rules can apply to your own personal life.  Number 5 especially rings true in that it has you focus on your successes.  As the old sayings go, write your successes in stone and your failures in sand.

There you have it, Sam Walton's Rules for Building a Business.  As another caveat, I did take all these ideas from Walmart's website.

Wonderful Moment of the Day: Taking an hour long walk in perfect 55 degree weather.

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