Everyone looking to start a business belongs to one of the following clusters:
1) Those that are unemployed but have ideas to start their businesses
2) Those that are employed but want to start their own business
3) Those that are employed but want to improve their impact in their area of discipline
4) Those already running their own businesses
With you having identified a cluster that you belong to, the question then becomes how do you go into business?
1) If you don’t enjoy it don’t do it
Starting a business takes a huge amount of hard work and time and you need to enjoy every process of it. Building a business is something to be proud of, bringing talented people together and creating something that’s going to make a real difference to other people’s lives. If a business person sets out to make a real difference and achieves that objective, he or she will be able to pay the bills and have a successful business as well.
2) Be innovative – Create something different
Look at the most successful businesses of the past twenty years. Microsoft, Google , Apple and Facebook all shook up the world we live in by doing things that had never been done before and then by continually innovating. They are now among the dominant forces. Not everyone can aspire to such levels, however should you decide to enter an already crowded segment you had better be ready to offer customer service that blows the competition away.
“When we started Virgin Atlantic the positive buzz that we created focused on the simple fact that our crews were really nice to our passengers “ – what a breakthrough idea for an airline.
3) Pride of association works wonders
Businesses are nothing more than a group of people, and they are by far and away your biggest assets, In fact in the majority of businesses your people are your product. When people are proud to be associated with their company it generates a special level of advocacy and dedication that is a huge differentiator in a world full of mediocrity and indifference. If you build a successful brand everyone will want to be associated with you, and you should look to be involved with affiliations or networks that will boost your business in a similar manner.
4) Lead by listening
To be a good leader you need to be a great listener. Sure you need to know your own mind, but there is no point in imposing your views on others without some debate and a degree of consensus. No one has a monopoly on good ideas or good advice. Get out there and listen to people and draw people out and learn from them. As a leader you’ve also got to be extremely good at lavishing praise. Never openly criticise people, never lose your temper and always be quick to applaud a job well done.
5) Be visible
A good leader doesn’t get stuck behind a desk but is constantly out meeting people. With the rise in use of technology is good to make use of smartphones, invest in one if you don’t have one along with internet access in order to enable you to network with like-minded people rather than spending time on social media. Being visible means being accessible.
Here are a few questions you should address and answer as you implement your business ideas:
- · Why is your idea better than existing ideas?
- · What is your competitive advantage?
- · What will stop others from copying exactly what you would have launched making your business short lived?
- · How do you mitigate against market demise?
- · Who are your strategic partners and why?
In conclusion if you better an existing model it means that you have to stay ahead of the pack and be innovative as better will not last in the long-term, more so with the advent of technologies and fast changing economies. This means you are not the only person that has that particular idea and the advantage of being the market inventor is that you are pushed to keep improving your product and staying ahead of those who follow.