Do you like to have the 8 tips to make your business bloom? I love the number 8. Call it luck or my favorite number? Anyway I see 8 as infinite.
One can go around and around without an end. As a business mentor, I always inculcate to my protégé of the vastness of the universe. There is so much to discover. The key step is to make the business bloom. For me, to make it bloom means creating excitement, joy and fun. Here is what I recommend:
- Bloom Different.
Do-not- be-a- me-too. For me this is not a healthy way to make your business bloom. There is nothing unique to speak. Your business idea must be differentiated. You may be serving the same products or services. Ask yourself if you have such distinction. You are the only person who ought to answer that? You may want to have a BLIND TEST where you can place side by side your products vis-à- vis your competitors. Oops, better appoint only one person in your company to handle this. He or she should be the only one who knows the true identity. It may be fun but dig deeper if you or your management staff fail to recognize your products. People always say that they can have better if not the best product or service. Now it is time to prove it. Oh remember to be different is not an overnight magic. You have to constantly communicate to the target market. The customers must be able to really see and convinced.
- Find a need and fill it.
When people complain about a product or a service that means there is room for a new player, a new solution or a new answer to everyday problems. Imagine the world today without mobile phones? Or better imagine today without the upgrade of the mobile phones to smartphones? I was just over Greenhills in San Juan the other day. It was amazing to see the bloom of tablets. There are known brands and not so known. Everybody was not focused on the brand but on the cost and specifications. Almost everywhere one sees the tremendous change in the cellphone landscape. Thanks to Alexander Graham Bell for inventing the phone. Listen and see what people are talking and complaining about? In general we have people complaining of the hot weather, the endless traffic, diggings on the roads; among entrepreneurs you have difficulty in getting the right locations, finding the right franchisee, obtaining the necessary loan to improve the business, salaries and right quality people, etc. If you are in business, how can the above words help you bloom to pick the right golden nugget to success?
- Be focused.
Some have the notion that all a business needs is capital; a business name and it will run already. How I wish these could be true! Nevertheless in the today’s world, an entrepreneur needs to have discipline to focus and bloom the right scheme of conducting the business. This is like driving a bus and many options are presented to reach a destination. In fact technology is so fast opportunities can appear and disappear in a matter of seconds. Look at these young geniuses we have this century in the name of Mark Zukerberg, Larry Page and Sergey Brin who are founders of Facebook and Google respectively.
- Believe in What You Sell.
One thing which I admire on entrepreneurs is the 100 percent confidence on their products or services. However this does not mean they do not anymore listen to what others say? One way to bloom is obtain feedback. As they say, if you don’t eat it, don’t sell it. The real entrepreneur can talk hours and hours and even describe his product or services non-stop!
- Love what you do. Everyday.
You have to like what you are doing, so it will not seem like work at all. This is what I always tell people. Challenges or problems will be easy to face if one is always in love with what one loves doing. There seems to be some healing of sorts as I hardly see happy and contented entrepreneurs from suffering some form of sickness. People like our friend Chit Juan of ECHOstore seems to loom and hold the secret to the fountain of youth. She is always on the go that her mobile phones like blackberry, nokia and iphone seem to give up of her fast phase. Her mind just churns out with bright and super ideas. Mind you these ideas are so brilliant that it turns into full satisfaction and much money in the coffers.
- Wait for one whole cycle of one year before expanding.
Go through different seasons, buying seasons and also cash-strapped periods like tax filing time and opening of classes. Check your good and bad months. Remember the days of the Shawarma? Years and years ago my phone did not stop ringing from different people asking for assistance in positioning their business into a franchise. My one and only answer is let us talk after 12 months. Unfortunately nobody returned to set a meeting. Any business must under a cycle especially in months where scarcity of raw materials may be experienced. My advice is to take it easy and nurture the concept. Today the buko concept seems to bloom. Is it here to stay for another number of years? I saw a TV interview which reported Coke as studying and investing in a Coconut Water canned just like Coke In Can!
- Be a marketer.
Know your target market. Study them. Watch their buying patterns and their habits. I am fond of building database. In our years of mentoring I emphasize the importance of knowing the customers. There are promotions and advertisements to get people to come and try the product or service. There are forms or coupons filled up and dropped in a tambiolo. Yet most often after the event, those pieces of paper are disposed! Oh this is a great source of information. Database or customers’ listings are even purchased by marketing companies. Next time, be mindful and take time to study those information.
- Be true to your business.
DO NOT DO IT JUST FOR THE MONEY. Do it because you like the business, it can pay for your expenses and it can help many people. I always believe that not everybody is given a chance to go into business without having a defined mission in life. Many people are given different talents and skills. Yet to be an entrepreneur always spells for me to carry on a mission. Most of the people we have assisted have begun to do what we call Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It is not mainly for show or some kind of gimmick. In fact most of these people prefer to be behind the scene. Blessings come in many fold and different circumstances.
(Armando Bartolome is a business mentor to numerous micro entrepreneurs who are now big names in the industry. This article was previously published on the author’s website. For questions and more information, you may contact Armando "Butz" Bartolome by email:firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @philfranguru. His website is www.gmb.com.ph)