Growing a business is as rewarding as it is stressful, difficult, and all-encompassing. Not only do you need to build a brand and a team that you can be proud of, you need to find the right customers, win their business, and keep them satisfied. And with limited time and resources, you will find that, most of the time, you will need juggle multiple tasks and roles. What you need is a reminder of basic ways to improve efficiency, while making smart business decisions and get to the top fast.
Research in depth about what has already been created or invented, then implement or enhance. Do not try to reinvent the wheel. The fastest and easiest way to get your business going and growing is by finding others who have already done what you intend to do and learn from their earlier efforts. Of course, your business idea seems brilliant… are you sure it has not been done yet? Scope out the market and find out what works and what doesn’t. There is no need to make it harder than it already is.
Think like a business owner. Delegate, hire, or trade. Unfortunately, many new business owners have yet to be emancipated from the employee mindset: that they have to work relentlessly and do everything alone. If you are a firm believer of the old saying “if you want something done right, then do it yourself,” you are not ready to run a business. You need to develop the entrepreneurial mindset that understands that you can work smarter, not harder.
As you are starting your business, consider the following tasks and ask yourself if someone else could be doing them while you focus on building the business:
Designing and executing brochures, posters, and marketing materials
Developing your website
Telephony and PC workstations
Purchasing equipment and supplies
Marketing and Research
These are not revenue generating activities and if you find them challenging or time-consuming, delegate these tasks to someone else like a family member, on-the-job interns or part-time assistants.
For the more specialized items, seek the help of a business colleague on how they handle those responsibilities. Also, you may hire or barter with professionals in marketing, web design and technology. Negotiate something about keeping them on retainer.
Model the processes of others who have already achieved the level of success you’re seeking. These people have likely already committed the mistakes and would already know what works.Another wheel that needs no reinvention is process, especially in the area of marketing which is easily the most important facet of any business. It is not an area where business owners will have the luxury of employing the process of elimination by trial and error. Devote an ample period of time studying other businesses both within and outside of your industry. How do they handle promotions? How do they generate leads? How do they convert these leads? The most efficient way to create winning processes is to study already successful businesses and modeling what they do. Sign up for their newsletters and seek additional information. Buy a product or two to see what channels they use to keep inviting you back for more. This is not to say you need to replicate every step of their process inch by inch, but assimilate what works and then add the essential ingredient of uniqueness that distinguishes you from the crowd.
Incorporate these basic strategies and you will time and money from a much shorter business learning curve. Begin reaping the rewards sooner than you ever expected.