It’s that time of the year. We make lists for resolutions again. And if you don’t believe in resolutions, have your to do lists, habits that get you where you want or good old lucky charms. Either way, I have 5 wishes for you and your tobacco business. Keep these by when you draft yours.

  1. Love bread and butter

Does your business have a predetermined routine? And by that I mean your fixed, repetitive, quantifiable technological process. Because that’s your first objective, by the way, and your first degree of success. Have a good technological routine and you are in the safe zone. You have a sustainable product. With bread and butter, you are in business.

  1. Tread safely, with what you already have

When you achieved bread and butter level, you are free to think how to raise your tobacco business market share. Now you have the peace of mind to handle that safely. Look at what you already have and is working well enough. What could you make better? Maybe enhance the blend, upscale the paper, come up with a new and inventive design (how about something that looks so vivid in the shelf, all incoming customers will just notice it?). Bottomline, it’s an upgrade, not a rebranding. Unleash your creativity but advance carefully.

  1. Waive the dream. Grab the calculator!

First, congratulate yourself on accomplishing bigger dream: to have a tobacco business. By now you are well on your way. That said, put dreams aside for a while in favour of good old arithmetic. The truth is, as much as you will upgrade your existing tobacco machine or production line, that will not produce a dramatically different product. Nor should it, for that matter. If you have a sustainable, consistent product, doing well on the market, that’s pure gold. Adding another one is something you do without burning down the house. Move on to your second tobacco machine or equipment only when you are ready and fit to invest again. And of that, you must know your numbers.

  1. Have secrets when you can afford it

Say you are ready to rebrand your tobacco. All is going well and you decide to stop outsourcing and produce your own blend. Let’s be honest, that is very hard to do, but will give you the mother of all advantages: you will have your secret tobacco blend, to have and to hold. Which is exactly what I wish for you: to have a secret when you can have and hold it. Make sure you switch off outsourcing when it’s convenient for you. There will be hints all over for those looking. But more on that and how to hedge some other time.

  1. Write it down

The tobacco business is one of procedures. Which probably means the messy desk Einstein said pointed to genius was not of a tobacco business owner. In this business, genius kicks in after we master the basic routines to perfection. So make sure you have your key steps, rules and processes on paper. Have a motherboard to bounce back to and build from. Then thrive!

Wishing you a great  2018!

Photo credit: NordWood Themes on Unsplash