Starting a business is a wonderful, worthwhile experience. If you want to succeed in yours, here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
Knowing Your Customers
As a starting entrepreneur, the more customers you have, the better. If you have three clients paying for three different services, you will make more money than if you only have a clientele of one. It is common sense and the driving force behind corporate success. After all, growth comes through sales, and sales are a number-based game.
Still, what many new business owners fail to recognize while chasing as many prospects as they can is the importance of having customers that are reliable, honest, and straightforward with the products and services you provide. For instance, if you are in the business of renting out office space and your tenants never pay, you might be getting into something you don’t want and most likely cannot handle on your own.
Of course, you can always hire the services of a professional bailiff to help you out, and with his aid, the situation will be resolved. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your due diligence, especially when it comes to providing long-term services that your clients will pay at various intervals of time.
Understanding Your Brand
The great Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Even though he was talking about human beings and our innate nature to mold ourselves based on the needs and expectations of others, his words can also be applied to modern businesses, especially those that are in the first stages of existence.
Oftentimes, young entrepreneurs and novice enterprise managers try to be all things to all people. As practical and all-encompassing as this might seem, it is unfortunately very far from the truth. As history will tell us, many times, the difference between a successful organization and one that gets left behind in the dust is a strong brand identity recognized by both existing and potential customers.
As such, before you use your available financial resources on extensive marketing campaigns, slogans, and promotional schemes, make sure you know exactly what it is you are trying to sell. Ensure you understand your product, what it provides, and how it is different from those of your competitors. Remember, if you can’t explain what you are doing to yourself, you will not do it to others.
Trusting the Process
The exceptional former basketball player Michael Jordan was once cut from his high school varsity team. He was neither tall, strong, nor skilled enough to excel in a crowd of his peers. Thomas Edison conducted over a thousand tests before deciphering how to make a functional incandescent light bulb. Legend says Steve Jobs would practice his speeches at least 17 times before presenting the latest Apple gadget to an expecting public.
You will be hard-pressed to find a person who doesn’t know what the word process means. It is a simple term that even a five-year-old kid can define and give an example of. Yet, many executives in new companies fail to grasp what the word entails, namely two things: time and consistency.
Unless you are fortunate, your firm will not succeed immediately. But if you stop working at it and don’t keep trying, chances are prosperity will not come. Hence, the key is to avail yourself with as much relevant information as possible, make the most objective decision, and stick to your guns.
Sure, this won’t guarantee that your corporation will flourish, and you will become a billionaire. But it will certainly give you the best odds of making it.
Dreaming With Reality
If you do not believe in yourself and your business idea, nobody else will. It is tough to sell something you don’t like, and unless you are Robert De Niro or Daniel Day-Lewis, your clients will see right through the facade and look elsewhere. Passion is just as important as hard work and conviction, and more than a few times, a great salesman with a mediocre product will do better than an average one with something marvelous.
Still, there is a difference between dreaming big and being delusional. As the old saying goes, keep your head in the clouds but your feet right here on earth. From a business perspective, it means believing in who you are and what you represent but understanding that competition is harsh regardless of industry. Sometimes, success will come eventually, but not right now.
One of the toughest decisions any entrepreneur will have to make is deciding when to cut his losses and close the enterprise. It is in these times when true intelligence is revealed and whether the person in charge has the character to make tough choices.
Know your customers and understand your brand. Trust in what you are doing but be mature enough to realize when to let go. These simple tips will not only steer your business in the right direction but also grant you the tools you need to succeed.