I have always held that there is no standard when running a business. Indeed, some basic principles or conditions must be in place, but there is no standard generally-applicable roadmap to success. This is because every business is unique in terms of its industry, availability or scarcity of resources, and an enabling environment. It could be a political war killing businesses in one region and regulatory bodies war in another.
Today, rather than bore you with some textbook recommendations, I bring you tips from entrepreneurs across the world. They have been there, done it, and survived it. They run businesses that are still standing tall and booming. Sounds like the people you should listen to every day, right?
Here are the tips:
Build to last
You have probably heard this a thousand times, but I am here to say it to you one more time, build your business to stand the test of time, build it to outlive you. Build it to last. Why should you dedicate your best years to what will crumble right before your eyes?
Keep solving a problem
Every great product has one in common -it solves a problem. When your product solves a problem, it will continue to remain relevant. However, it doesn’t end there. You must keep solving a new problem. That’s how you expand. In whatever field you have chosen or industry you belong to, new problems will continue to arise. And this should push you to refine your product(s) or develop a new product.
If you have great ideas and plans without a workforce that is committed to successfully executing them, your chances of success are next to nothing. While getting people on board to work with you, check for people whose goals and areas of interest align with what you are building. Your workforce should consist of people that buy into the dream and share the vision. Also, invest in your workforce and ensure that they have a positive working environment. Happy workers equal improved productivity.
Build your network
For some of you, this means getting out of your comfort zone. Success would not come to you on a platter of gold. You might be very good at what you do and have a fantastic product, but just one casual relationship would skyrocket your business to the next level. Networking gives you relationships you can leverage to take your business to the next level.
Invest in PR
Unless your strategy is to remain in the backend, it is very beneficial to invest in public relations and advertising. You should have a proactive PR strategy, and if you cannot afford an in-house team to handle PR, you should work with a PR firm. Every brand has a story, if you don't tell your story, someone else will do that for you, and you will be the villain in that story.
Incorporation protects you and your partners from liability. Existing as a legal entity positions your business to be trusted by potential partners.
As a business owner, one of the people you should never get tired of listening to is business owners like you. People who have been where you are and have overcome it. Learn from them and make good use of the lessons. When you hit a wall, face another direction and start all over.