Growing a successful, sustainable business requires discipline. Having a great idea will not in itself ensure business success and wealth creation. So what else does one need to do?
The following are the points that have meant the most to me, from reading about other successful entrepreneurs.
- Focus on customer service above all else
- Offer great value
- Live modestly
- Be very harsh on costs and overheads
- Invest in your business
- Own property
- Get a coach or mentor
Find solutions for your customers. Remember that you are either solving a problem or creating enjoyment. If you focus on this and not success or money, then these two will come in due course. Why is the customer KING – because without customers you simply do not have a business.
Offering great value goes hand in hand with customer service. Be sure that you offer REAL value. If you focus on short term profit and reduce the value of your product or service, you may make money in the short term but you will not build a sustainable business.
Live modestly – resist the temptation to start spending money as you make it, or worse still, before you make it. It is tempting to but a new car, bigger house or go on expensive holidays. This might be fun in the short term but again will inhibit the building of a sustainable, and even more profitable business. Regrettably I have seen too many businesses, which had great potential, go under due to excessive spending.
Controlling costs is absolutely critical. Watch every cost, no matter how small. This does not mean not spending money but rather questioning each cost and ensuring that it is adding value, will have a positive return and will help the business to grow.
Your business won’t grow without reinvestment. It is far cheaper to use your own cash than to borrow cash to grow the business. Keep up to date with technology and processes as once you fall behind it is difficult and even more costly to catch up.
Property has, and I believe always will be, been one of the best investments over the long term. Firstly, buy your own business premises and as you generate more cash, start to look at investing in other properties. This will give you security and access to cash for future business growth or new business if the opportunity arises later on.
Almost all successful entrepreneurs have had a coach or mentor to work with. They will help to guide you and stop you making mistakes that others have made. It can also be a very lonely place as an entrepreneur and a coach or mentor is someone to bounce ideas off and generally share your business problems with.