Running a business is hard, and if you ever wanted to know just how hard it is, you might want to ask every other entrepreneur out there who have taken the leap of faith.
Being an entrepreneur means having multiple hats to wear and innumerable things to do. On top of it all, you are almost always walking down dark tunnels. The growth of your business depends on what you put in it. It’s what you do every day that’ll determine exactly where you’ll go and how far you’ll succeed.
In fact, successful businesses tend to have a great company culture. According to Ron Finklestein, from Entrepreneur magazine, they have exceptional customer service, positive and motivating attitudes, an organized business strategy, discipline, the ability to take risks, a roadmap (for everything), specific business processes, effective (and continuous) marketing, employee hiring and training programs and teams (for everything).
Here are a few simple things you ought to do every day that’ll contribute to your business growth:
You are an asset. Work on “You”
You might not have thought about it too much, but you are an asset to your own business. Your mindset, the way you do things, your approach to life (and business), your ability to coast over difficulties as they arise, and your managing skills, will all affect the way your business turns out to be.
This isn’t just true for small businesses. Even large corporations were once small and the way they have succeeded has primarily been determined by the founders of those businesses.
Work on the Marketing Machine
Modern-day marketing is not as simple as it might seem. While it’s not rocket science, it’s certainly about treading on various paths, which all lead to the same set of results. Most entrepreneurs are guilty of “binge marketing” – much like “binge eating”. They approach marketing in “feast-famine” cycles – do marketing when sales figures are low and put marketing on the back-burner when sales seem steady and the business is doing well.
Binge marketing is unhealthy just as binge eating is. Marketing is not seasonal (even if your business might be). Work on your marketing, every day, 24 x 7 to really see results.
How many people do you know?
Business is all about people. Most entrepreneurs are aware of the importance of people in their businesses, but the effort it takes to make your network contribute positively to your business often seems like a lot, especially since you are unaware of the return you will be getting. But still, in the end, it’s always about people — customers, vendors, employees, partners, bankers, and everyone involved.
One person at a time. One interaction at a time. One phone call at a time. One in-person meeting at a time.
Work on Creating Value
You could look at this one from many different angles, but the only plausible way to beat your competition and to make a real difference to your customers is to work on creating value, every single day. Now, how you do this really depends on your business.
Tim Ferris – entrepreneur and author of The 4-Hour Work Week – believes in giving 90% of his advice and expertise away for free and only charges for his books and premium coaching programs. Ramit Sethi of IWillTeachYouToBeRich also does the same thing.
Think about letting your customers try your products or services for free, for instance. Customers get a way to sample your products or services, adding value for both you and them. To learn more about why you should give before you get from customers, read this article, here.
Regardless of what you’ve heard, read, or thought, you’ve always needed capital to run and operate your business. The larger your business is, the more capital you’ll need. While there’s lots of money laying around (more investible surplus than actual – and worthy — investment opportunities), capital is still hard to find, especially if you gravitate towards loan sharks. That’s why it’s important to reinvest your business profits back into the business or raise money on your own (bootstrapping). You can even work with a long-term goal to raise capital with banks and private lenders.
However, you choose to do it, raising capital is never a “done with this thing” affair. Find ways to work on the financial health of your business just the way you’d do personal finance planning.
What are you working on right now? Let us know in the comments.