Being a business owner comes with its own set of rules and responsibilities. Startups owners often forget about boosting their productivity levels while they try to get more funding and establish a business. In the midst of uncertain markets, changing legal scenarios and employee turnover, staying motivated and following the charted plan becomes hard.
There are numerous successful businessmen out there who have mastered the art of staying motivated despite the discouragements, and built strong empires. Their legacies are with us to learn from and follow. While these success stories are very impressive to a beginner in business, you must know that you have to build your own path with the opportunities you get in your life.
“If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.”–Melinda Gates
You can build a scalable, successful business if you combine the right proportions of skill and technology to execute your business plan. Here are some ideas which you can incorporate in your work and get the most out of your business:
The success of your business will come from expertly running the business, not by writing sales copy, doing webinars or providing mentorship. You will spend less time doing what you love and more time managing the logistics of doing what you love. It will include sleepless nights, arguing with vendors, bargaining and finding the right developer for your business website.
You need to prioritize your business. The sooner you realize that survival is based on being a good business owner first and a cool webinar speaker later, the better your chances of grooming your business. When all the elements of your business are running smoothly (and all e-mails are answered), you can create the things you love more easily.
It’s obvious that you can’t do everything by yourself. Sooner or later you will need help with something. The best way to solve this issue is by taking help from the best software out there which fits your needs. There are all kinds of systems which can handle pretty much everything that needs to be done while running a business.
Auto-schedule your posts, monitor employee performance, organize payroll, plan meetings and never miss out on any new software update by automating these parts of your business. They will buy you a lot of time to manage critical tasks that require your attention.
Protect your data:
Business processes require data to be present and easily accessible. Nearly every business connects to the internet in one way or the other. A savvy business owner always thinks about protecting the data of his company.
More data is generated every day and you have to store it in a way which ensures accessibility and protection at the same time. You should have an idea of your current IT infrastructure in order to support your initiative.
Moreover, the induction of Millenials in the workplace also requires more options which present a unified communication experience for these leaders of tomorrow. The best solution for this is to contact a managed IT services provider.
There are many companies out there who prioritize the security of your data and also devise a business productivity plan for the whole workforce. They have multiple collaboration platforms like Cisco Spark, Azure and AWS where it is easy to store data and share with relevant people.
Visualize your success:
As a business owner, you need to visualize it happening before your eyes in order to do it the right way. Believe it or not, it is a tried and tested way of achieving goals. You need to look past the failures and imagine the improvement you can make on the basis of those failures. Sometimes, we feel like our motivation is running low and everything is falling apart.
One negative feedback means you can fix the issue, a wrongly-shipped order means you will double-check the shipping and handling next time. In the business world, any mistakes you make are going to make you stronger if you look past the current disappointment and visualize your success.
Famous actor and comedian Jim Carrey told on the Oprah Show that he visualized being where he is today. Once a wannabe, Jim wrote himself a blank check of 10 million dollars for ‘acting services rendered’, to receive on a Thanksgiving dated 5 years later. He used to look at the check every day and imagine receiving that amount. Five years later, near Thanksgiving, Jim found out that he was going to make 10 million dollars from his movie ‘Dumb and Dumber’. It’s the power of belief combined with the relentless struggle that can take you and your business places.
Hire the right people:
Hiring the right people for your business is also an investment you make on a long-term basis. Choose people who fit well in your office culture and are able to provide value. You should hire people with diverse backgrounds and experiences, but always make sure that they have core values which resonate with your business.
Chairman of Virgin writes about this factor in his book ‘The Virgin Way’:
As important as it is to look at what a candidate has achieved elsewhere, I have always believed that the single most important thing to consider is ‘personality fit.’ By that I mean, is this someone whose way of being, sense of humor, and general demeanors will dovetail easily with your company’s culture?
Learn business psychology:
Business and psychology are two words which hardly land into the same sentence, but there is more to it now. But, if you consider business psychology, you can establish your business on a strong ground with a stronger mindset. Psychology, when applied to business strategies, can produce tangible results which show up as profit. Be it client acquisition, website maintenance, negotiation, growth or sales, psychology can turn in better results.
Test before investing:
Entrepreneurs are not mindless risk-takers who never consider their surroundings when starting a business. No matter how many times you see it happening in the movies, it’s not true. Entrepreneurs are strong-minded people who invest only in the idea which looks good as an overall package. Test your idea and then invest in it.
Try it on a small scale, note down the results of this trial and then think about putting your hard-earned money on it. It also includes a new product or service you came up with. Do a small rollout first, and then expand it. If an idea seems unmanageable in the test phase, you will save a lot of money by not launching it and you’ll be confident of the outcome.
Keep an eye on the numbers:
Entrepreneurs and business managers have to keep an eye on certain business metrics to take the company to the next level. Collect and analyze these metrics without thinking twice, so you can learn from them and improve your work. Here are some metrics which you can follow,
- Sales revenue
- Customer loyalty
- Customer retention
- Operating productivity
- Customer acquisition cost
- Monthly profit and loss
- Monthly overhead costs
- Inventory size
- Website metrics like traffic, bounce rate, conversion rate
This data can uncover new opportunities for your business and help you measure the result of your hard work. On the other hand, positive metrics are a source of motivation for everyone in the company.
You have to use branding to reinforce your presence in the market. In branding your business, be honest. “If you put up a front that you are all about changing the world, when all you really want to do is make money, and then eventually that will come out,” John said. “People will see it, and no longer want to support you.” – Daymond John, who is an entrepreneur, investor, author, motivational speaker and television personality on the ABC reality television series Shark Tank.
Market for free using social media:
Social media will provide your business with free marketing opportunities. Build a relationship with your customers on social mediums like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to develop a user base who can reach out to you when they have queries. Many companies use their social media accounts to provide customer service as well.
Pay attention to your customer:
Your customer is one of the most important aspects of your business. There is no business without customers, so make sure that you are thinking of them when you set out to sell. Most companies keep a close eye on their competitors, trying to stay one step ahead of them in introducing a new product or service. Business will grow and succeed if its user base is strong. The best example of a customer-obsessed business is Amazon. Jeff Bezos built his business around users. Today, he is the fifth richest man on the planet. His ideology is simple:
“Many companies describe themselves as customer-focused, but few walk the walk. Most big technology companies are competitor focused. They see what others are doing, and then work to fast follow,”
By listening to its customers, Amazon built its Amazon Web Services (AWS), which tried to solve technical problems by offering state-of-the-art services on a monthly plan. In-house IT solutions are very costly for small and medium-sized businesses, and AWS changed the game by providing the same quality on a budget-friendly package. AWS is now an over 10 million dollar business. The key is to pay attention to your customers, and they will guide your way.
Behind every successful business there is a tedious process which involves countless sleepless nights and undying enthusiasm. You must learn to respect the process in order to achieve great results from it. The only way you’ll figure out what drives the business is by figuring out what drives you. Never lose sight of your goals and keep investing in technology to simplify your business processes and you will see a positive impact on your business.