Business Success

Great Tips for a Highly Successful Business

Duff Goldman says running a business is like being Wile E. Coyote chasing the Road Runner.

Goldman, owner of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore and the focus of Food Network’s Ace of Cakes, says you have to be willing to give it your all and not worry that you might get hurt once in a while. Here are the 39 year old’s four other ingredients to running a successful business:

1. Don’t over-think your business or idea.

When Goldman was thinking about starting his business, he asked his dad, who has a graduate degree in business from UCLA, how to run his new cake shop. His dad said, “Sell a cake son, start from there.” In other words, keep it simple. Don’t get into the analysis-paralysis rut. Get busy. Do good work. Prove the model. Rinse and repeat.

2. Live within your means.

Goldman spent $2,600 and bought his first large mixer after he sold his first big cake order.

“If you can’t afford it, you don’t need it,” he says.

Too many startups waste money on swag and T-shirts with their logo on it when they should be banking that cash or spending it on people or things they really need.

3. Make great stuff.

No matter how great the product or experience was last month, Goldman says he is always judged by the last cake he makes. In his case, a sub-par product will literally leave a bad taste in mouth of customers. That’s the quickest way to go out of business.

4. Be kind.

This one seems like a no-brainer, but so many companies seem to get this wrong. Why is the customer-service person at the department store so angry when you bring in a return? Why is it so difficult to get through to your cell phone or cable TV provider?

Being kind also applies to treating your employees with the respect they deserve, Goldman says.

We can probably all afford to be a little more kind to each other.

CEO of The GoodBrain Digital Studios