Putting up and running a business is a serious life-changer. Some people equip themselves with all the knowledge they can probably get before venturing into one. Taking up a Bachelor’s Degree to Post-graduate studies in Business Administration and Management seem to be the first few steps for most people. For some, it can be a decision after saving money to get things started or after retirement. Some educate themselves through self-help books.
Whatever led you to start a business, there is one common goal for business owners and that is to succeed. There is no specific formula to succeed but there are factors that highly contribute to establishing a sustainable business and define a great businessman.
- Your definition of success :-
We all have our different pace in achieving things. Comparing our achievements with others can only take our focus away on the things that matter. Make your own definition of success, start with a small but feasible goal and once you reach it, revisit your definition and redefine success again. Success is the total of all small things you have achieved, combined.
- Your habits and attitude :-
There are a lot of articles detailing the daily routine of famous business tycoons. Mark Zuckerberg wears the same type of clothes on a daily basis, eliminating the unnecessary decision-making of choosing his clothes. On the other hand, equally prominent businessman Elon Musk is known for his magazine-ready style. What does this tell us? It is not how we do things that make us successful, it is what we do with consistency that makes things become our habit until we achieve our goals.
- Your network :-
They say, “It is not about what you know, but whom you know.” in the ancient trade practice, probably, but not the case in the modern age. Your network is not just your connections outside but inside – your employees are your first network. Your employees are your first allies and with them, you establish the foundation of your business. According to Stephen R. Covey, “Treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”
- Your resourcefulness :-
There are ways for your business to grow without spending too much on advertisements and other forms for mass communication. You can explore other opportunities from business to consumer (B2C) to business to business B2B) by attending business forums, conferences and speaking engagements. Become a member of industry organizations like the local chamber of commerce can lead you to meet your next business clients and partners with just your time and business card as your investment.
- Your experiences :-
Running a business has ups and downs and not every chapter is sweet. Learning from your mistakes in business and moving forward from it is always the best and boldest step. If your business offers solutions for people’s problems, you can surely be a solutions provider in your own company.
- Your passion :-
It is very rare for people to engage in businesses they do not have interest in. So whenever you feel like you are losing your direction along the way, go back to the drawing board and remember why you have started and where you want your business to be.
- Your Niche :-
Admit it or not, there are businesses which thrive because people need it. Businesses engaged in providing basic necessities like food, shelter, medicines and clothing prove to last long. If your business does not belong to these categories, how do you make it last? Be a problem-solver!
- Your hunger for learning :-
According to the Philosopher Socrates, “To know, is to know that you know nothing.” And the only way you can surpass every goal you have set for your business is to keep learning – from experience, from continuing education and from your competitors.
- Your ability to save money :-
Minding your cash-flow is very important for every business. What you earn and spend with regularity will spell your company’s future. You can determine expansion opportunities based on your cash-flow.
- Your reputation :-
Your reputation relies on the quality of your product, your customer service and your relationship with your stakeholders. And your reputation can be directly translated into your brand’s value perception.
- Your digital assets :-
Your digital assets bring you closer to more of your stakeholders. Your online presence can create engagements with a vast majority of your followers. This is among the new strategies that a successful business must master.
- Your faith and wisdom :-
Having a strong emotional, spiritual and professional support can build a strong leader who builds an even stronger business. Whenever you encounter roadblocks, pick up each rock and build a castle.
Great things always start small and that applies even to businesses. Be patient with your pace but keep your eye on your goal. And with every goal you achieve, set a new goal challenging the previous one. Be your own competition!
Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at Christian Marketing Experts and co-founder of Usman Digital Media. When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.