What will it take for your business to survive?
December may be the season of joy for most of the world, but for business owners, it is also the month in which they have to measure their level of success. It is a time for bittersweet experiences as the accounting begins and the budgeting is created for the coming year. For some, it is a source of relief as they make it through another year, while for others it may be time to close up their shop.
One reason a lot of small businesses fail is that they do not innovate. They are so in love with their vision of the business that advice from other more successful mentors falls on deaf ears. In their own version of reality, they have a brilliant business idea and if they do it a certain way, they would succeed.
Persistence, confidence, and determination are great for a start-up owner. Yet, no one person can see all aspects of growing a business, such as, developing good design for good business, etc., and unless you open yourself to change and advice of the experienced, there will always be parts of the business that will determine the failure of the venture on the whole. However, the bottom line is: even if you aren’t losing money but breaking even, you are failing still.
So here I have put together the top 8 (and a bonus 9) quotes of inspiration entrepreneurs must adhere to as they strive to create a successful business in 2015.
1. Do you have what it takes?
The Swedish entrepreneur, Niklas Zennström has launched a number of ventures with Janus Friis including Skype and Kazaa. His words of wisdom are enough to fill the most passionate of to-be-entrepreneurs with dread. Only those men and women who live and breathe work, who get excited when hearing “…forget about vacations….” should proceed forward with launching their own business.
2. If at First you succeed, keep innovating.
The statistics show that most small businesses fail in the first five to ten years after they start. This suggests when the business started, it was a success. However, somewhere down the years the owners became stagnant, lost their vision, forgot to innovate or were lousy planners. While many small businesses owners claim that success is part luck and part opportunity, the fact is success is about innovating and always being afraid of failure. According to Bill Gates, “….success is a lousy teacher…” The bottom line is the minute you become passive about failure, chances are you will fail.
3. Recognize Opportunity
Most successful business men and women I have spoken to always state that the basis of their achievement is not business acumen but recognizing opportunity and taking immediate action, regardless of the risk. Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a high tech financer who gives financial advice to those willing to take it. His take on success is that those who don’t “get wealthy…are not trained to recognize opportunity.”
If you make one new year resolution make it, “I will not get so caught up in routine processes that I do not recognize an opportunity to grow, develop and innovate when it comes knocking on my door.”
4. Exceed Your Clients Expectations
Larry Page is considered the most ambitious CEO-ever. Not surprising considering he is the head of Google, the world’s most influential search engine! When someone like Page suggests that a company should, “…always deliver more than expected” intelligence would suggest every business owners listen!
5. Work Hard and then Work Harder
Any businessman worth his salt will know that owning a business is harder than working a 9 to 5 job. Bill Gates emphasized hard work for success, so did Larry Page, actually most probably your mom told you the secret to success when you were in grade school (but what does a mom know?). For those who still think running a successful business is easy, and all you have to do is delegate, learn from the best. Mark Cuban, with a total worth of 2.6 billion dollars leaves nothing to the imagination. His bottom line advice is ‘Do the Work’. This does not mean you get on the phone and delegate the work. It means get your hands dirty if you want to be successful for more than ten years!
6. Do not Give Up. Change
The risk takers are the ones who become successful, not only the risk of continuing with a business when all facts suggest you should close it down, but actually changing business or business idea when success continues. The best business men and women face the facts and then make changes to meet any opportunity they identify. Peter Drucker, asked entrepreneurs to look for opportunity, not to sit around waiting for it.
The most valuable asset an entrepreneur can have is the will to persevere when everything is going wrong and willing to change when everything is going right.
8. Develop the Right Team
Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Founder of Square suggests that one person can have an idea but it takes a team to execute it. Attract the right people, develop the right team and you have most of the assets of success.
Bonus 9: Your Dream has to be pursued!
Most people will suggest that business is sheer hard work, nothing to do with dreams. Walt Disney was in the world to prove them all wrong. His imagination was surpassed only by his business acumen and together the two became an icon of success and created a world where dreams come true.
The Walt Disney World is proof that every business starts with imagination, is built through hard work and becomes successful through attention to detail, taking risks, making opportunities, finding the right people -and then doing it everything all over again!