Most people dread the thought of starting a business. It’s that some don’t want to risk their money on a venture that may end up failing. The fear of failure is and will always be a stumbling block for many but to be successful in business, you should never let that stop you. I actually failed in my first three businesses but when I went into my fourth business, I realised that the one reason why I failed in my first three businesses was because I gave up easily. At the very first sign of a challenge, I actually threw in the towel.
Once the fourth business was up and running, I said to myself that no matter what happens, I won’t give up and I will do whatever it takes it takes to ensure the business is a success. That sheer sense of determination and focus helped me sustain the business and although I was facing literary thousands of different problems I never gave up and Alhamdulillah today the business is a mega success with a distribution network across 6 plus countries, 20 international retail franchises and a strong team of about 40 staff members with offices in the UK, US and in India.
Making use of your competitive and unfair advantages
Before you raise your eyebrows, unfair advantage is not lying, cheating or stealing but rather doing everything a little better than your competition. It is one that cannot be easily copied or bought. Having an early entry was one of my key unfair advantages in the market. I realised that my business was focused on the market and saw where the market was headed and its potential in the following 5-10 years. Fast-forward 11 years and today we have a very good established profile in the market. Our business was one of the very first that started in this market and the market is now considered to be worth about 15 billion dollars worldwide.
A competitive advantage can be described as any circumstance that puts a company in a favourable or superior business position. We got into online e-commerce very on before our competitors could catch up. This allowed us enough time for the business to grow and as the momentum of the business grew, our position in the market grew.
Time is a big factor and a big test for any business. Before your business grows, you will face numerous problems and issues and it is important to tackle the matter in the early stage.
Basic steps when starting a new business
When starting a new business, the first step will be to formulate your own business plan. Once that is done and dusted, find someone who has already achieved success in the industry you want to join and have a brainstorm. Talk to them about your idea and let them give their point of view and thoughts on the same. Most people neglect this but in some ways in business, the shortest route to success is to find somebody who has already been there and done it and get their thoughts and opinions. These people have already made mistakes and they can help you avoid making mistakes which could potentially be costly and detrimental to your business.
The third step is to look for someone who you can team up with in the business. Think of who you can hire or employ in order to get things done and solve problems, As an entrepreneur, you don’t need to be the best at everything. You don’t need to be necessarily skilled, talented or have the knowledge of the business you are trying to go into. You simply just have to hire people to get the job done. The sooner you hire the right kind of talent and experience and obviously dispatch a decent amount of funds, the sooner these people can get the job done.
Truths of a business that you shouldn’t skim over
One such truth is that business is not easy, it’s hard. As such, you have to put in the effort, to begin with, but if you are smart about how you do business, then it doesn’t have to be necessarily hard.
On starting a business, most people actually run it and view it as self-employed. Some will be doing everything from mobbing the floor to counting the cash, ordering inventory then counting the inventory. At the beginning of a business, you are will most definitely have to do a lot of that work but if you want a scalable business with potential for rapid growth, then your role is not to do everything. Your main roles are to be a good leader and a good manager.
To achieve success it is imperative that you work on your business rather than work in your business. Working on your business is about putting the team together, hiring the right people for the right job, adopting the right technology in order to aid and systemize the business. This will put you in a good position to easily scale up as the demand increases. Most people don’t do that. They go on for years and simply go on from working for someone else to just working for themselves.
That is a very subtle mindset shift that needs to happen for the business to work for you. This means that your business should inevitably give you the financial ability to hire new people or adopt a much more efficient technology.
Hiring smarter and experienced people and letting go of some of the roles is one of the things that most business founders find difficult to do. However, once you let go you will be able to focus more on leading the team and as a result improve the performance of your business.
All these are great ideas and as an entrepreneur, they can help you jumpstart your career. However, as Thomas Edison once said, the value of an idea lies in using it. In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear for failure. If you would like more from me then you are welcome to click here.