Building a business is only half of the equation. Making your business a success is just as important. You will be faced with ups and downs in your entrepreneurship journey. In a world where quite a number of businesses are collapsing, as an entrepreneur you need to be well equipped and prepared conquer the challenges you will face in your journey to success. To succeed in your business venture, you will need principles that will guide and accelerate you to success.
Here are the key principles for business success.
1. Find a need in the marketplace
Find out what the market needs. What services? What problems? What needs the world has? If you don’t fill a need, there’s no business. The first principle of business success is identifying the needs of the society and then directly or indirectly filling those needs. In other words – either you offer a service, your skills or a product that will fill a need, or you become a broker to somebody else who is capable of producing the product and service to fill the need.
Whatever it is, it is necessary to find a need that needs to be filled. You have to always be learning something. You have to sharpen your ability to see around corners. You have to see what the patterns are before they became trends. This will get you ahead of the game. Getting there is tough, you will die a million deaths, but never stopped learning.
2. Find what you love to do
Ideally, you want to find what inspires you and do what you love to do most, in addition to filling people’s needs. So if you can identify what the needs are and then find the ones you are inspired to fill, you have two components: a need from society and a desire inside you to fill it. Those two components are very empowering. When you can’t wait to get up in the morning and bring a service to people, people can’t wait to get that service. Do you know who you are as an entrepreneur? Don’t do what others do blindly, know if it works for you and if you will be fine with the consequences.
3. Outpace competition
Competition is healthy and every business will have to face it. That is why you have to offer quality. Bring something unique to the market and have a unique selling proposition. Make sure your solutions are customised and nuanced. Understand the market extremely well. It’s really really hard to copy someone’s internal vision. We owe it to ourselves to bring originality into the work that we do. And that is how you outpace your competition. You don’t need to copy anyone. Copying is never a smart idea because imitating leaves one simply unable to keep up. You will never lead, you will always follow.
4. Structure your business to maximize profits
You want to reduce redundancies, make sure you are not doing things that are superfluous. Make sure you are doing the most important actions most effectively and efficiently.
5. Let your brand be synonymous with quality
The biggest challenge you will get is attracting the right business/clients. What is important is ensuring quality. Be known for excellence and quality. Do that for your business, and clients will start looking for you.
6. Identify the highest priority actions
Prioritize the actions that it takes to fulfil those needs and identify what the highest priority actions are that will help you fulfil those needs most. Make sure that you are working on top priority actions and delegating the low priority actions. If you are doing things that are most important and you are doing them with inspiration, you are going to increase your business.
7. Build liquidity
When you have a cushion of liquidity, you automatically have more stability in the business. You have better quality clients, you will end up attracting more opportunities and you won’t be desperate. You’ll be inspired to select only quality clients.
8. Invest your money
Make sure your money is working for you and you are not working all your life for your money. After saving your stability cushions be sure to invest in progressively higher levels of risk and return. Earn the right to risk.
9. Communicate the product and share the need of employees and clients
When you are inspiring teams, make sure you are communicating to them using their highest values. Remember, their individual highest values are what they are inspired to do. Nobody goes to work for the sake of work; they go to work to fulfil their highest values. If you communicate the company’s vision and clearly specify the work that needs to be done in terms of peoples’ highest values, they will be inspired by what they do and will produce more.
Also, make sure you are communicating effectively when it comes to sales, advertising and marketing. You need to take your clients’ highest values and needs into account. Not only do you need to discover what those are, but you constantly need to keep at the forefront of what they are, as they change, and keep getting feedback from your customers to assist you in filling their needs. Make sure that you are honouring their needs and get feedback regularly for those needs – don’t live on assumptions.
10. Innovate and research
Keep your eyes open for new customer opportunities and new ways of presenting products or services for those opportunities. You need to put energy into innovation and research. When you are constantly at the cutting edge, in the frontiers of research and innovation, you tend to draw more opportunities to you and lead the way.
11. Expect failure
Success and failure go hand in hand. You can’t think of entrepreneurs without also thinking of failure. You will go through many failures but never give up because when success comes it will be much sweeter. As a first-time entrepreneur you probably won’t get it right the first time. Figure out what’s working, which may sometimes not be what you set out to create and focus on it relentlessly.
12. Delegate low priority
Make sure that you are enrolling and hiring people to do the things that you are not keen or inspired to do, but need to be done. By delegating, you are basically enrolling other people to assist you and you are extracting surplus labour value out of their services while freeing yourself to do what you do best, that which you find most inspiring – your highest of the priorities.
13. Nurture good relationships on your way up
Cash flow is always a challenge. Most large corporates expect you to give them 30 days to make payment, and in many cases, more time than 30 days. In the meantime, you have to bear all business-related costs – employees’ salaries, rent and your personal expenses. Build a steady crew of vendors who would extend credit to you ensuring you have enough time to receive your payments and sort them out. Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door. Be smart enough to go through every door that opens.
14. Hire the right people from the start
When it comes to hiring, always hire for attitude. Skill can always be taught. Hire incredible people and train them to be the best in the industry.
15. Expand your vision
You’ll only grow to the level of your vision and if you are not expanding your vision, you’ll plateau your business and you’ll plateau your wealth.
16. Be OK with making sacrifices
Every entrepreneur has to make sacrifices of some sort. The biggest one is when you’re starting out. The risk of failing is unquestionable. Trying to make your vision a reality is tough. Most people only see the finished product of a successful entrepreneur. Behind the finished product though, there are lots of knots, sweat and tears. Your social circle may get smaller too. Spend time with people that understand your vision and there weren’t many. Have a large network but a tight and small circle.
17. Embrace discomfort
Having your own business provides you a rush of adrenaline that’s hard to explain. Getting out of your comfort zone daily and being totally comfortable being uncomfortable. Every day there is a new problem to conquer.
18. Find stress outlets
Being an entrepreneur is undoubtedly stressful, and stress needs to be managed. Find things that can help you manage stress, be it supportive family and friends or hobbies. Also have friends or mentors that have built incredible successful businesses who are wonderful role models and happy to share some of their experiences with you.
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