Have you ever seen a magician at work? Not one of those children’s entertainers who’ll pull a rabbit out of a hat to placate the kiddies, but a David Blaine-type who manages to make their sleight of hand look like genuine wizardry.

It can be a startling experience, seeing a little bit of magic up-close – while you know that it must be a trick, your brain is still amazed by something that should be impossible.

A few hundred years ago, before the rise of machines and technology, a Hungarian nobleman called Wolfgang von Kempelen managed a stunning magic trick – he convinced people that he had built the ultimate chess machine smart enough to beat all human opponents.

In reality, there was a man hiding inside the machine, but the success and notoriety of the machine continued without anyone finding out until a long while later.

If you want your business to be a success, you have to be able to perform a sleight of hand with your finances, staff and customers. But, while you’ll look like a business wizard to the outside world, you’ll actually be the man in the machine, using practical steps to keep your business afloat.

So, you can follow some of these tips to learn some success-making tricks for your business.

–Make your energy bills vanish (bills are the second largest outgoing in the average enterprise)

It might come as a surprise, but energy bills are the second largest outgoing cost in most enterprises, only narrowly pipped to post by staff wages, and a lot of that energy usage is wholly unnecessary.

Just think for a second – all those computers left humming through the night, lights still illuminating an empty office and heating piled on during summer. The business with economy on its mind should have these unnecessary outgoings squashed as soon as possible.

Nowadays, unlike the energy output of yore, there are numerous ways to optimise those energy outgoings, with business gas connections, sub-metering and energy consultations sawing your bills in half.

–Keep your customers with the magic of good customer service

Good customer service is all about maintaining that little bit of magic in your business. Being able to provide customers with dazzlingly good service and make it look effortless – it’s as much a sleight of hand trick as it is a practice of great skill.

The way to keep this trick going is to hire others who know it as well as you. Get staff members who show promise and train them up to your standards of excellence. Remember – the people you hire are an extension of you, so make sure they know exactly what you expect from them.

–Get an assistant to help you

Nothing is more important to an act than the magician’s assistant. They make the magician look good, help them bring on the acts and continue to keep the magic alive as the trickster prepares their next illusion.

And, while you don’t have to find someone exactly like Debbie Mcgee, your assistant should be able to hold the reins when you’re too busy. With a handy helper your enterprise should go from strength- to-strength.