How to build a Successful Business
from Entrepreneur.com 04 May 15 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Most successful entrepreneurs possess strong leadership skills, an uncanny ability to generate game-changing ideas & a knack for hiring exceptional talent. They are simultaneously calculated, clever, collaborative, composed, confident, & creative. These traits give them the character they need, to overcome a number of challenging business obstacles. They also utilize these timeless business-building methods to achieve long-term company goals:
1. Communicate from the inside out. A CEO believes the most awe-inspiring companies begin with a great leader who regularly asks herself “ Why?” Why are you in business? Why should customers care? Popular brands emanate a strong, purposeful mission statement to their customers. Often, people can live without your product or service, but they consistently do business with you because they support what you stand for, including your vision. Apple’s latest launch of products illustrates this. Visit Apple.com to learn more about the new MacBook and get caught up in how the company describes its latest offering. “With the new MacBook, we set out to do the impossible: engineer a full-size experience into the lightest and most compact Mac notebook ever.” Apple engages you with a feeling they are conquering the impossible for the user’s ultimate benefit. The brand prioritizes users’ needs to create beautiful, easy-to-use products. To build a successful business, leaders need to fully understand why they are doing what they do and communicate that to their employees & customers. No gimmicks. No fluff.
2. Weed out the “weak” early. In 1973, shark Barbara Corcoran started The Corcoran Group with a $1,000 loan from her boyfriend. By 2001, she successfully scaled and sold the company for $66 million. As a leader, she knew her success depended on the overall happiness & productivity of her team members. To ensure her employees had the best working environment, Corcoran routinely weeded out the complainers & the laggards who negatively impacted everyone else’s performance. Each year Corcoran cleaned house and let the bottom 25 % of her sales staff go. By dumping the poorest performers and those who groan & grumble, she maintained high company morale and ensured she retained the best staff possible.
3. Walk it out. When building a business, entrepreneurs often get stuck. Completing a simple task, conceiving new ideas or resolving a small problem can feel tantamount to climbing Mount Everest. To overcome an obstacle, you might just want to take a walk. According to the New York Times, studies have shown that exercise helps you perform better in areas like decision making, organizing your thoughts and thinking creatively. In the workplace, this can translate in a few ways, the simplest of which is taking a quick walk around the office. Encourage your employees to get up and stretch their legs, if they find themselves helplessly stuck on a problem. You can also encourage walking meetings in your office. The Guardian suggests taking four to six people on a walking meeting to get ideas flowing. Set a time limit of 30 minutes to keep from over-exerting everyone, and offer to buy coffee the first few times you go out. Keep track of all the ideas you come up with on your smartphones.
4. Be Transparent. As more companies open up about their processes & methods, customers are becoming savvier & hungrier for transparency. Fortunately, transparency does not require you to fork over trade secrets, but it does mean being honest about how you conduct business. Your customers want to feel they can trust you. Openness & information sharing helps to build that trust. Clothing company Everlane takes transparency to the next level. While many retailers disclose where their materials are sourced and what kind of factories they use to make their products, Everlane goes a step further and tells shoppers what the company paid for their materials. Every item has a “ Transparent Pricing” section that explains how much the materials, labor, duties, transportation, real cost, and markup is for that particular item, comparing it also against how it would be priced at a traditional retailer. By sharing the economics of each garment, Everlane fosters client loyalty, brand trust and the intimacy companies need with customers to prosper.
5. Encourage your Employees to express their Creativity. Profitable & growing enterprises thrive on original thinking, while copycat businesses shutter their doors as soon as the idea they have stolen, loses its relevance. Since the successful conception & development of viable business ideas takes time and requires a flexible corporate structure, try setting aside a dedicated amount of resources to allow your employees to be creative on their own terms. Google does this by giving its engineers 20 % of their time to work on any project they want. This allows team members to develop products they are passionate about. Many times, that means more care & attention goes into each effort. Gmail is the most famous consequence of Google’s generous 20 % time policy.
6. Work in Small Groups. According to the Small Business Chronicle, small groups allow employees to bring their individual skill sets to the table, which can complement & augment others’ talents. Having multiple perspectives can help the group approach a project or issue from different angles. This enables fresh ideas to emerge and mature.
Whenever possible, encourage your coworkers to collaborate in small groups. Businesses flourish when colleagues partner to conceive, develop & implement new concepts that help the company grow. Often, team members would not be able to produce the same sort of ideas alone. The best products & services are seldom built in a vacuum.
Comments: What can you add to “building your business”?