Too many people have started promising businesses with the prospects of affecting society, meeting needs and building wealth. The number of businesses created have increased drastically in recent times, especially because the Internet holds a great capacity to host businesses with promising opportunities. And come to think of it, it is now far easier to start a business and run it than was the case about two or three decades ago. The possibility of meeting partners, getting sponsorship and reaching clients seems boundless. At the same time, it is shocking to know that hundreds of business men and women are plagued by failure on a daily bases. That’s because starting a business, as you should already know is no guarantee that you are going to be successful. It takes more than having a great product, extensive market reach and wonderful team to be a successful business man or woman. No one ever starts wanting to fail. From the moment of business conception, whether or not one is ready to succeed, the desire and aspiration for success is there. It is what drives you on. Business success is not a mystery, there are certain principles and steps that ensure business success. Lets unveil some of them and hope that applying them will make you what you so desire to be; a successful business owner.
Get an understanding of business principles that work
Most people who write or talk about business success do so from a general perspective. To them, the matter of business success is considered from a generally standpoint and suggestions are given as though every kind of business can successfully adopt them. However, there are some good business principles that may not be applicable in certain business settings. For that reason we are only going to consider those which are actually generally applicable, so you can be sure that applying them will yield intended results no matter the kind of business you are into. Even successful small businesses that are not really sure about the methods they apply have to take some time to actually understand certain business principles that are actually productive.
- Never chew more than you can swallow
When you start a business, don’t jump into commitments and making investments until you are really sure of your ability to handle them. Remember it is not how fast you go that matters but how far you go. Don’t let your ambition and desires to make it big drive you into taking decisions before proper considerations. Whatever business you get into, learn to engage in just what you can handle. Successful business owners know just when to engage a next level and that only comes after careful considerations. Your desires and aspirations may be bigger than your knowledge, capital or even the business capacity at the time. Successful small businesses especially like daring in places they are not sure of or even ready for. Learn to grow and increase with your capacity to handle certain levels. Be patient enough to grow up, instead of trying to go up.
- Never invest until you are informed
Starting a business you know little or nothing about is a terrible mistake that will keep you from being a successful business owner. Even if at the beginning your hopes are very high and the prospects seem promising, you need to remember that there is no assurance of running a successful business without adequate knowledge of what you are getting into. Successful entrepreneurs are not just business men and women. They are individuals who are well informed about what they choose to invest in.
Know the market. The business market is directly linked to the level of success you can attain. Whether you are dealing in goods and services, running a successful business requires that you know how large your market is and the characteristics of that market in order to make the right decisions and ultimately succeed. You also need to ask yourself questions like; how necessary are my products and services to my target market? What needs or problems do I look forward to solving and how many people can actually afford what I offer?
Knowledge of competitors. As you consider and gather knowledge about the market, you should pay attention to the level of competition so you can better access how to withstand it. No matter how small or insignificant your competitors seem to be, you must take precautions to keep your place in the market by getting right information.
- Get the experts
Successful business owners work with people. Therefore the quality of people you decide to work with will invariably determine how successful you can be. Successful small businesses usually rise to the top by making the sacrifice to hire the best from the onset. After all, starting a business is very challenging, you cannot afford to make things even more difficult by getting people who don’t really know what they should be doing. Hire the best staff you can afford.
- The business must be purpose driven
Any business without a clearly stated purpose is definitely waiting to fail. Purpose is what gives meaning to a business and keeps the owner on track. Successful entrepreneurs start out by determining the purpose for the business and learn to keep that in mind in order to be successful. It is easier to make the right decisions when you know exactly why the business is running. If you are not driven by a purpose, the likely hood of giving up before achieving success is very high.
The importance of management skills
Successful entrepreneurs are great managers and most times, good managers make wonderful entrepreneurs. The entire running of the business on a daily basis would be under your control unless you decide to higher managers and stay out of the process. Learn and practice managerial roles and be committed to getting better. Many businesses have started out and found it very difficult moving past a certain level because the entrepreneur failed to consider or even learn what it means to manage a business. There are certain challenges that will come your way, testing your resolve to continue. Whether or not you are prepared to be a manager will be an important determinant of the level of success you can attain.
Develop the ability to foresee market trends
market trends are always shifting and changing. It is not enough to have a business running successfully. Successful business owners must develop the ability to study market trends and rightly anticipate what lies in the future. If you are not able to understand the future of the market you serve, your business will inevitably lag behind in the race and subsequently be pushed out from the market. At every level, running a successful business requires foresight and the ability to know what direction the wind of demand blows to so that you can stay ahead of your competitors.
Don’t neglect research
There is a whole lot connected to the issue of research and it’s importance for running a successful business or even becoming a successful business owner. If you neglect research at any point of the business life, you will be lost in the future, not knowing what decisions to make. It is better to put some resources into researching a particular market and realizing that it is unprofitable rather than going in uninformed and losing large sums of money.
Make a definite distinction between the owner and the business
It’s a trap for one to think because he or she owns the business, things can be done at will. Making a definite distinction between yourself and the business has several benefits and will help keep you out of trouble. Successful business owners know that the business is a different entity from their personality. This means that it must be treated with honor and respect. For example, you should always consider that the finances and resources of the business are not your finances, no matter how successful it becomes or how large the money may be. This means you cannot or should not have unlimited access to the resources of the business. The business should pay you a salary and your salary is all you can get from it on a monthly basis. Again your salary cannot or should not increase with your needs. Your salary or the amount of money you get from the business can only increase with the growth of the business. Don’t try to get more from the business than you have been able to put in or above its ability to give out. As you earn a salary from the business, ensure that the amount does not strain the business or jeopardize it’s success in any way.
Learn from your competitors
The reality of having competitors threatens most business owners. But you could consider it as a privilege. Competitors are important for business success. Without them, it will be difficult for a business to see beyond it’s present status or move into greater levels on time. There is a lot you can learn from having competitors and there are levels of business achievement you can only get into when challenged by competitors.
While the fight to deal with competition and maintain your place in the market rages on, you need to take advantage of having competitors by carefully watching them and learning from their successes and shortcomings. For example knowing what customers admire from your competitors or why some of them prefer the goods and services of your competitors could help you know what changes you can make to your own products and services. Watching your competitors also helps you learn from their mistakes. This is especially so with the businesses which have bigger competitors. There is a lot you can learn from big competitors, especially from their mistakes or failures. Don’t just focus on fighting off your competitors. Learn from them. That way, you amass knowledge, avoid their errors and stand a better chance of beating them.
Be thoroughly Organized
Every business man or woman’s ability to be organized largely determines success or failure. So many things have to be dealt with at once and objectives have to be met simultaneously. As a result, it is expedient that the business man or woman is very organized in going about the dealings of the business. You will be surprised how disorganization stands in the way of business men and women who should otherwise have been successful entrepreneurs.
The first aspect of being organized is keeping check on your time and achievements. We will look at the importance having goals and making plans in order to achieve business success later. But first bear in mind that the degree to which you are organized affects how successful you will be as a business man or woman. don’t let time go by without accomplishing the task assigned to that period.
If you make plans to complete something within a certain time frame, you need to organize the team, make sure everyone in the right place, doing the right thing in order to achieve the right results. The organization of the business team is primarily your responsibility. However it all starts from how well you can organize yourself to effectively play your role as a leader or manager.
Set business goals
Without definite business goals you can look forward to achieving, you cannot attain certain levels of success. Goals aim towards success, but more than that, they define what success is to you, making it a real attainable concept. Having goals is also one of the best ways to access success. For if your business does not look forward to achieving anything within a specific period of time, how do you say the business is successful or not? When goals are in place, you know what success means by considering those goals and how well they have been attained.
Successful business owners know the importance of setting goals. The most successful entrepreneurs are only celebrated or admired because there was something definite they aimed at achieving and succeeded in doing so. There are long and short term goals. It is important to make use of both as the second helps you attain the first. Generally, starting from long term goals is better because then, the business entrepreneur has a broad perspective of what he or she wants to achieve.
When long term goals are determined, they should be divided into several short term goals that make the former easier to achieve. This way, you can better make plans to achieve the goals so the entire thing does not seem like an unreachable dream.
Use a definite business plan
When you have goals, the next obvious thing that comes to mind is having a plan that helps you achieve those goals. The plan is like the road map that helps you navigate through short term and long term goals. It breaks the processes into steps that make it easier to follow through. To have and run even a successful small business, you must make plans. Like goals, your plans have to be divided into two types; plans that help you achieve short term goals and those which help you achieve long term goals. Business success is very closely related to the plans put in place by the owner to achieve defined goals or objectives.
The plans of the business should not be things you just discuss or come up with. They have to be thoroughly tested against the goals set in place and clearly written down so that anyone can follow through on them. Be careful not to set goals or make plans that the business is not ready or able to attain within the specified time frame. Doing this can lead to terrible failure and discouragement to the entire team.
Give attention to building your team
There is a team that runs every business and that team should be taken good care of, if you really want to be a successful business owner. Whether the team is motivated or discourage depends on how you deal with them. Also bear in mind that the way you treat workers will determine their productivity. To be a successful business owner, you need to give a great deal of attention to building a team of workers. This calls for a cordial relationship that encourages them to give their best. People can sometimes be difficult to deal with because humans are not robots. They have different temperaments, levels of commitment and focus, different levels of expertise. You must know how to deal with these different types of people effectively enough to make them work together for a common goal. Since the success of your business is very much dependent on your relationship with your workers, lets look at some specific things you should do to make them a better and more productive team.
Lead them by your actions. It is easy to have expectations of people and even give orders, expecting them to be followed, but people are not always motivated by words. As a matter of fact, you will find it easier to influence people and get them to be more productive by taking positive actions rather than simply issuing commands or making demands. If you want a more committed crew, let them learn by watching your commitment to the business. Come to work on time, don’t leave before closing time and be committed to meeting schedules and accomplishing goals. Whatever attitude you want to see in your employees, be sure to practice it.
Practice the powerful secret of appreciation. I suppose there is no one who will not love to hear another appreciate his or her efforts at something. It is wonderful to hear someone, especially one who is superior appreciate your efforts or encourage you to be more committed or persistent. It stirs up a sense of self worth and the determination to do better than you are already doing. Even if you are going to disapprove something a worker did, start by letting them know how much you appreciate the fact that they made a commitment in the first place. It makes the disapproval seem less demoralizing. He or she will definitely be more open to corrections when they come. Sometimes, it pays to just put yourself in the situation of your workers and imagine how you will love to be treated and the things that are likely to discourage or encourage you, then practice them as a boss. Chances are, your employees have the same perception about those things and will respect you better if you treat them like you would love to be treated.
Simplify the task and make their role as clear as possible. Your business will definitely do better when when those under you are not often needing someone to tell or remind them what the company’s goals are at every point in time.
Remember relevant innovation keeps you relevant
In life, you can be sure of one thing; when you stick to the same principles, you will obtain the same results. In the same light, better results will come with the price of innovation. Innovation is one of the principles that ensure business growth and success. Successful business men learn to always make changes that keep their customers glued to their products and services. Without timely innovation, your business will definitely soon be out of the market. All the business giants you know are serious innovators. Always working on a new version of their products which consistently promise better features and services to their customers. It is one very effective way to maintain customer loyalty, keep your share of the market or even expand further than your present reach. Even successful small businesses thrive on the power of innovation.
Be consistent and persistent
At the end of the day, no one can really be successful without some degree of consistency and persistence. There are always going to be challenges, especially when you just start out or while the business is still growing. This is especially important for building successful small businesses. Running a successful business means consistently and persistently doing the things you must do even when it is not convenient. If your goal is to grow beyond leaps and bounds, then you seriously have to learn to be consistent and persistent in your commitments to growth and success.