It is the era of entrepreneurship and everyone you meet wants to start a new business. But building a business is not everyone’s cup of tea. It takes fierce passion, hard work and perseverance to build a successful venture. After all anything worth the while doesn’t come easy, does it? There are many tough truths that a new business has to face like the possibility of the failure of a small business is high even at the best of times. Great entrepreneurs understand these nitty gritties of businesses and act accordingly. They always plan for their time in advance and even if complications arise, they keep their calm, think and then act rather than just going into it without any preparation beforehand.
Building a great business is about employing the right strategy at the right time. When it comes to strategies, there are two schools of thoughts. Robert Malthus and his followers believe that economic growth comes at the cost of natural resources while Robert Solow and his followers believe that human creativity can mitigate the problems that arise due to economic growth. In reality, both these world views are extremes and contrast each other, and to build a sustainable and successful business, we need to employ both of these strategies but we must know which strategy to apply when.
Here I will present 5 tips that will enable you to build a successful business from scratch or even otherwise:
1. Do your research
The most important thing that one needs to do while starting a business is research. This helps in deciding what exactly need of the hour is and what you must be investing in. Understanding the customer pain will help in creating blue oceans, making the competition irrelevant and creating a bigger pie for everyone. Redbus.com by Phaninder Sama in India is a great example of a business emerging out of customer pain. The business was eventually sold out at a very high valuation that the founder can hardly hope to spend in a lifetime.
2. Make your business plan
One thing that distinguishes a successful business from another is having your business plan in place. This means knowing what your USP is, what exactly you will be selling or offering, who your key investors and key partners are. It will also give you an idea of your strengths and weaknesses and how you can leverage or mitigate them. Business plans should also include goals, mission, vision and values. Nothing drives a business better than a common vision shared by the people who work towards achieving it. Thus, the vision should not be enforced but rather a shared vision. Writing a good business plan also means you can pitch it in a better way to the people you are looking at for investing.
3. Collect the money
Yes, you saw it right. When it comes to starting a new business, one big mistake that a lot of people do is invest from their savings. And that is where they have it wrong. No matter how less the capital needed is, it is always prudent to get funding. There are innumerable venture capitalists willing to invest if they see value in your business model. And perhaps, if they don’t, then maybe it is time to consider your idea and see what that one thing might be de-motivating the investors. This is also a prudent idea because even if your business hits off well, you will still need money to scale up and pay your employees, and you cannot keep doing it from your pocket. You need to seek funding one way or another. So why not do it right the first time around?
4. Build your relationships
Now, for any business to survive, this is one very important step. The first 50 people who will buy your product will probably be your family and friends. But here, you are looking at expanding your business beyond that. This means building relationships with multiple people and businesses across both horizontal and vertical value chain as well as with your employees.
a. Relationships with other businesses
Having good relationships with people across the vertical value chain is profitable because you might get that extra discount or you might just get recommended by them, thus making you more reliable and credible, which is also one of the benefits of word of mouth marketing. This will also give you an upper hand when you are looking for integrating either vertically or horizontally as people know you and trust you, and might be more willing and open to the idea thus making it a successful business relationship.
b. Relationships with employees
It is also extremely important to have good relationships with your employees. They say, your employee is you biggest customer. Making them feel valued and making the workplace friendlier will go a long way in establishing this relationship and you will definitely see its effects in the long run if things are going south. Employees who feel valued hold on to their organizations in the long run. Print business cards for them, have a family day, go an extra mile to keep them engaged. This might seem costly but you can always make use of offers like 40% off @ Printed.com and even partner with these businesses for your various office needs at discounted prices.
5. Check for sustainability
Your business must be sustainable. This is not optional. If your business is not sustainable, it will not yield results. So you need to check for sustainability always. Especially when you take a new decision financially because at the end of the day, your aim is to do justice to all the stakeholders, everyone who has believed in you and helped in making you dream a success.
Employing the correct strategies and following the above tips shall assist you in creating a business that is so successful that others will aim to achieve similar heights some day. So get on with it now, after all, who doesn’t want to be a role model, an icon and a business tycoon!