My answer to How do businesses make profit?
Answer by Desmond Last:
The ability to reduce the size of the learning curve as quickly as possible is important. In business there is only one method of operation – the right way. No matter what business you are in the optimum method of operation will be the one that ensures you maximise your profit. Learn it as quickly as possible. The bigger the area under the curve the more money you will lose.
Training is essential even for a staff of one. I once worked for a large National Car Leasing Company. My work procedures were roughly written on a piece of A4. They had not been put into method order or checked by the Manager. There were no Company procedures.
Training is vital even in a small business. Each company has a Culture; a way of identifying itself in the world. Training is important if that Culture is to make its way to the customer.
You must know what your break-even is by the Hour, day, week, month and year. The profit and loss account is King for all businesses but particularly so for a small business.
Cleanliness is next to the General Ledger when it comes to Stock Control. You might be making money but is it all tied up in stock? You cannot count it if you cannot find it.
Finally you must know who your market is and where they are. A clear identification of your market will ensure that your product or service is tailored to suit the needs of your customers.