Most start-ups don’t survive for five years, and this is because of several factors such as having insufficient funds, mismanagement, or the lack of knowledge and skills about the business.
But if you are aiming for success, you must not let every opportunity just pass you by. There really is a huge risk each time. But then again, huge risk takers are more likely to succeed. Why?
It is because they do not leave any rocks unturned.
Once you have put up your business, your work does not stop there. It is actually just the first step in very long journey.
What your business needs is more than just the funds to put it up. There should be great planning on how to make the business work. It involves more than envisioning your long-term success.
How can you even get there when you are stuck on the first step?
You need to figure out how you can make your business start smoothly and to put more time on certain things that needs you to focus on more. Here are some steps that can help you:
- First and foremost, you must be able to sell yourself. Potential customers need to trust that you can be able to really provide the products/services that you are offering them. You are more likely to win your customer’s trust when you engage with them more.
- You must be able to answer your customers when they ask you, “What makes you any different from all the others that provide the same services?” You should be confident to respond to your customers and be able to tell them what sets you apart from your competitors. With that you can take further steps on how you can make these customers to keep coming back to you.
- Identify your target market. Knowing the needs of people in a certain area will give you a business idea. You cannot just put up any business without knowing if you can penetrate the market.
- If you opened a 24/7 convenience store, for example, the idea may be good because there are people who still may want to buy something when all other stores are closed, but ask yourself: How big is the population where your business is located? Will your business survive?
- Over time, you will notice changes in the movement of your business. You should be able to identify which key points affect its growth then you should dedicate your time on those areas.
- Think of how much more you can increase your sales by adding products or services. But be careful in choosing them. Not everything that seems to grab a customer’s attention may really be profitable for you.
- Check how your competitors are going along with their business. Are they more successful than yours? If so, try to seek advice on how you can improve your business.
- You may have focused so much in improving your weakness that you have failed to focus more on your strengths. When you have such strong points that you can use where your business can benefit from, take advantage of them. The confidence that it gives you can help you succeed.
- Hire people who share the same vision as yours. Just choose those who are motivated and inspired with the company’s beliefs and aspirations. Pay them well and they will stick with you. Look for people who are after establishing a career and not just wanting to have a job.
What works for one company may not work for you. It is because different companies face different challenges. Although steps were presented to you to help you make your business grow, still everything can change because of the changing market conditions. The plan you have made should be able to help you in clearing out business efficiencies, refining its strengths that can better suit your clients/customers. Learn to tailor your business growth strategy instead of choosing a one-size- fits-all plan.
Your chosen business may be among so many others that have saturated one locality. So how do you make a difference? How can you make people choose you over your competitors?
- Aim at providing a work environment that exceptional people can be part of. You think you are in a “who wants to be the next millionaire” kind of race. And while you want to succeed in your business, you can’t do that on your own without the help of hiring exceptional people to work with you. There may be so many people who may present themselves as the right people for your company. Choose wisely.
- Adhering to standards, policies and practices of an industry can make you succeed in your business. However, you should also seek some other ways which you think may be beneficial to your business. Giving a little twist on certain practices may take time before you can realize that it can be effective. Thinking out of the box means changing perspective but focused on the same goal.
- Businesses should focus on the value of their products. They should be able to prove to their customers that their products are better than their competitors'.
- Although your business seems to be in competition with others, your competitors should be your gauge on how you can improve your business even more. Always focus on how you can provide quality products and services to your customers.
The growth of any business depends on the attitude of the business owner. One needs to have an open mind and willingness to learn. Hiring the best people to work for the business and following a tailor-made strategy ensures growth of the business that can last generations.
(Armando Bartolome is known as the Philippines’ Franchise Guru, a business mentor to numerous micro entrepreneurs who are now themselves big names in the industry. This article was previously published on the author’s The Business Mentor column posted by ABSCBN News. 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)