Do you know that your actions determines whether or not your business will succeed? Any entrepreneur that wants to be successful in their field must efficiently maximize the right to take potent business actions and decisions.
Every businessperson wants the best for their brand and this makes decision making difficult and occasionally increases our suspense level which affects our actions. However, before making a business act, it’s important to consider the present and future implications.
Below are 6 business actions/inactions that will make your business crumble:
1. Lack of a solid business plan and strategy
A startup analysis research published on Forbes states that approximately 543,000 businesses are started each month (but more employer businesses shut down than startup each month) Why? “Lack of a solid business strategy.”
But in most cases entrepreneurs see it as a waste of time. Most entrepreneurs overlook strategies in business because they feel it is too arduous and irrelevant. But the fact remains that a solid business plan and strategy is the foundation of every business.
Developing a strategy is a practical way of concentrating your efforts and focusing on how to get things done. One of the best ways to remain on the right track and take the right strategies is by always reviewing your mission and vision.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
2. Hiring too many employees too quickly
Most entrepreneurs get obsessed by their goal that they begin to hire all skilled practitioners even without identifying the importance of each practitioner they are about to hire. As a businessperson, you don’t need all available practitioners to achieve your business goals. Realize the differences between talented practitioners and required practitioners and stick with the required practitioners.
3. Disregard of market values
It is not enough to say: “Oh I’ve got an idea, I’ve got a passion that will bring a change to the world.” As an entrepreneur whose primary goal is to drive profit, focus only on market trends and seek for ways to utilize your resources to meet market demands.
Before you begin to implementing your passion, spend quality time to find out all you need to understand about the market and know if your customers are really in demand of your services.
Creating a brand or products which consumers are not interested in will definitely make your company run down before it even gets started.
4. Over promising and under delivering
Keeping promises is a very important factor if you want your brand to keep growing. Consumers will definitely curve your brand if the trust is lacking. There was a study that emphasized on this fact as it shows that more than 60% of customers quit patronizing a company/brand because of missing trust logos.
If you set a deadline/target before you, then meet it. When you give bigger promises to your customers more than you can deliver, you are passing a message across that you are not to be trusted.
It’s better to under promise and leave your consumers/audience astonished by over delivery than to over promise and look lame with the little delivery. Unlike politics, this is business, where a mere inadequacy can ruin years of your credence and cost you 60% of your customers loyalty.
No doubt, promises attract more customers and makes them willing to stick to your brand. However, always consider some factors (like unforeseen circumstances, weather flexibility, etc.) that could affect your delivery before giving customers your word.
5. Ineffective marketing system
Marketing is a very important facet of every business. The heart of your business success depends on how effective your marketing system is.
Poor marketing = Poor sales = Zero Profit = Zero income = Business Failure.
In business today, the market is crowded with a variety of competitors and maintaining a competitive edge is paramount to outdo the rest and dominate the market. Gone are the days of “if you build it, they will come.” The quote now is “If you build it, you must promote it. If you don’t promote it, it either remains stagnant or it DIES.” If you want a successful business then you should invest more strength and resources in promoting your brand via the best channels.
“For a truly effective social campaign, a brand needs to embrace the first principles of marketing, which involves brand definition and consistent storytelling.” – Simon Mainwaring
6. No online base or presence
We are in the age of constant information and technology, where a higher percentage of investment decisions and deals are being settled online. So it’s dumb to think you can survive the market competition without an online base/presence!
Customers want a high engagement level with companies they do business with. As a matter of fact, a review shows that more than 55% of Americans perform online research about products and services before purchasing. And their interest waivers if service providers/brands are not easily identified online.
Most entrepreneurs put off having a business website/blog because of the thoughts of stress. But the good news here is you don’t have to be an online rav or guru to own a website. You can hire a professional to handle that for you.
Take note of the above actions/inactions and take proper ways to avert them in order to make your long-run totally worth the struggle at the end.
What are some actions/inactions that have killed your brand? Leave your thoughts below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that understanding market dynamics and choosing the right business model are crucial
As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that understanding market dynamics and choosing the right business model are crucial.
A few months into the startup, I was quick to gauge why it is necessary to go beyond the nuances of operational efficiency and the art of sustaining a business amid growing competition.
Collaboration is key.
The HR and the recruiting teams work with departments to foster a culture of collaboration, but what’s indispensable to business performance is the sync between the marketing and sales teams. What we’d consider as entrepreneurs is the need to ensure seamless collaboration to predict and achieve business goals together. In turn, this will help secure long-term recurring revenue for the business.
Besides, entrepreneurs need to focus on revenue as they gear up to take their startup from $0 to $1 million. The journey is filled with critical decisions, from identifying your target customer base to choosing the right funding strategy.
So, what next?
Read on… because here are five practical, results-driven strategies that you as a founder can implement to make a mark in their industry.
#1. Embrace the Lean Methodology
What is lean methodology?
It is all about pivoting resources to create more value for customers with fewer resources.
This principle encourages you to be more agile and allow rapid iteration based on customer feedback rather than spending years perfecting a product before it hits the market.
Want to implement it?
Here’s what you can do.
Build “Measure-Learn” Loop: What I did was develop a minimum viable product (MVP), a simple version of the product. You can do the same since it allows you to start the learning process as quickly as possible. After launching MVP, measure how customers use it and learn from their behaviors and feedback.
Here’s what I can recommend here:
- Identify the core features that solve your customers’ primary needs and focus solely on those to develop your MVP.
- Know the feedback channels where early users can communicate their experiences, suggestions, and complaints.
- Analyze user behavior and feedback to make informed product development and iteration decisions.
#2. Focus on Customer Development
Let’s talk about taking our startup to the next level.
It’s not just about getting customers – it’s about really getting to know them. We need to dive into their world, understand their struggles, and see how our product or service can make a difference in their lives.
It’s like we’re detectives, piecing together the puzzle of our business hypothesis by actually chatting with our customers
What would you ideally do here?
Understand Customer Segments: I’d say, start dividing your target market into segments and develop a deep understanding of each segment’s demographics, behaviors, needs, and pain points. The idea is to get into their shoes and really feel what they feel.
Ensure your Product Clicks: When starting up, think of what you offer and consider whether it clicks with what our customers need. My thought was “Does my product solve their problems? Does it make their day better?” Put yourself through a tough grilling session to show customers the value proposition and ensure that the product’s promise matches what our customers are looking for.
I’d recommend the following actions here:
- Talk to them – through surveys, interviews, or even casual chats. The goal? To gather real, raw insights about what they need and expect.
- Use the collected data to create detailed profiles for each type of customer. This way, everyone on our team really understood we were serving. I think this should help your startup as well.
- Try out different versions of our product with a few customer groups. It’s all about feedback here – understanding if you’re hitting the mark or if we need to pivot.
#3. Foster a Data-Driven Culture
The digital world is highly data driven since it fuels key decisions in a startup.
I believe it’s essential for us to build a data-driven culture. This means, you’ll move from making decisions based on hunches or assumptions. Instead, the focus should be on data analytics and insights to guide our strategies and improve our outcomes.
What can you do?
Use Data Analytics Tools: You should be using these tools to gather, analyze, and interpret data related to customer behavior, market trends, and our business operations. Here, consider the adoption of pipeline forecasting that leverages AI to find patterns in marketing data.
In turn, you’ll get areas for improvement since it can analyze historical data and predict the outcome for you to plan your.
- Pinpoint key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your business objectives and ensure they are measurable and actionable.
- Next, you can consider training your team to understand and use data analytics tools. This might involve workshops or bringing in experts to build a data-savvy workforce.
- Once everything is in place, regularly review data reports and dashboards. This gives us a clear picture of a startup’s health and helps adjust your strategies and predict future trends.
#4. Strengthen Your Financial Acumen
A good grip on financial skills is important to steer your business towards growth and making sure it stays on track. For this, you’ll have to understand the money side of things, which helps you manage your cash flow. Think of figuring out smart investment moves and sizing up any risks that come your way.
Here’s a tip on how you can get savvy with your finances.
Maintain Rigorous Financial Discipline: I’m really focused on cultivating a strong company culture, one that truly resonates with our mission. So, I’d suggest fostering open communication and encouraging a sense of ownership and collaboration among everyone in the team.
- Get to know your financial statements inside out – I’m talking about the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. These are like the vital signs for your business’s financial health
- Use financial forecasting that helps predict your future money moves. With this, you will have a heads-up on upcoming revenues, expenses, and how much cash you’ll need. Also, research on the available financial forecasting tools that can make predictions spot-on.
- Don’t go at it alone. Regularly touch base with financial advisors or mentors. With them by your side, you’ll have a fresh perspective on your financial strategies to ensure you’re on the right path to hit your business goals.
5. Prioritize Team Building and Leadership Development
It is crucial to focus on building a solid team and developing strong leaders. This means putting our resources into the people who are going to propel our company forward.
What you’ll aim for here?
Creating a culture where everyone collaborates and every team member has the chance to emerge as a leader.
What I would do:
Cultivate a Strong Company Culture: This culture should mirror our mission and foster open communication. It’s important that it encourages everyone to feel a sense of ownership and work together.
Invest in Leadership and Team Development: As founders, we’ll have to make way for opportunities for teams to enhance their skills, face new challenges, and grow in their careers.
Some concrete steps that you should consider taking:
- Begin with clearly communicating your startup’s vision, mission, and values so that every team member is on the same page.
- Conduct regular team-building activities and workshops to boost skills and strengthen a sense of unity and collaboration.
- How about starting a mentorship program within our organization? The more experienced team members could guide and support the growth of newer or less experienced folks.
- Alas… encourage feedback at all levels. We should keep striving to create an environment where open, honest communication is the norm and everyone feels safe to speak up.
I know it’s one thing to get your head around these ideas and quite another to actually make them a part of your everyday business life. But that’s where the real magic happens, right? It’s all in the doing.
As a startup founder, this means more than just being a big dreamer. How about rolling up your sleeves to be the planner who pays attention to the smallest details. Ultimately, these tips and more tactics around it will help carve a leader in you who listens and cares and the learner who’s always ready to adapt
So, as you’re either starting out or moving forward on this entrepreneurial adventure, keep these practical tips right there.
May these be your guiding lights, helping you steer through the wild and exciting world of building a startup that’s not just a dream, but a thriving reality.
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