Running a successful business can be challenging at times, but it’s also not rocket science. By following tested and proven tricks that past businesses have used, aspiring entrepreneurs can replicate the same, if not higher, level of success and surpass competitors in their respective industries. Here are six practical but powerful tricks that every successful business has on their playbook
Make a Plan, But Expect to Compromise:
As blueprints are useful for timely and accurate completion of structures, business plans are integral for consistent growth of a commercial enterprise. That being said, creating a business plan that is too rigid can be difficult to follow through over time as more variables come into play. Be flexible, and compromise when necessary. A short-term plan that walks you through the day-to-day and weekly tasks is useful for conserving mental energy, but be prepared to course-correct when a new obstacle or opportunity emerges.
Outsourcing is another useful trick that many of the world’s most successful companies, such as Alibaba and Skype, use. Depending on the size and type of business you run, some functions you can outsource include accounting, marketing, sales, IT management, and manufacturing. Nowadays, you can even outsource workspace management functions to platforms, like Appspace, which provide hybrid workplace settings for companies that manage either fully or partially remote workforces.
Study Your Competition:
Knowing who your main competitors are, what they are doing, and how they are achieving results can help you better steer your own business. Analyzing your competition can help you avoid costly mistakes as well as find existing strategies that you can also implement. For instance, by observing which target audience a successful competitor is using, you can also launch a marketing campaign targeting that audience. Limit your data to only the top 3-5 companies in your respective niche to avoid using exorbitant amounts of time and energy on competition analysis.
Don’t Waste Time Reinventing the Wheel:
While running a successful business requires some degree of creativity, it’s simply impractical to try and recreate something that works fine. Identify business models and practices in your industry that can be emulated. Some areas of business where this should apply are accounting, manufacturing, and order fulfillment. Reserve your creative ideas and energy towards marketing, product development, and brand cultivation. Although it’s prudent to run your business as cost-conscious as possible, sometimes the best decision is to pay extra for an existing system or product to save time and energy.
Don’t Forget Yourself:
Sustaining a physical injury or suffering a mental burnout can have severe consequences for your business, especially if it’s a relatively nascent one. Your health is the most important asset of the business. Thus, make it a point to take regular breaks, eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. If you lack in one or more of these areas, consider making changes immediately to avoid potential burnout or a more serious health condition. You should also consider appointing and grooming someone to handle the operations when you need to step out. This will make it easier for you to detach yourself, physically and mentally, from the business when you do decide to take a break.
Focus on People:
This refers to all people that your business comes into contact with on a regular basis, such as employees, customers, business partners, and vendors. Focus on cultivating strong relationships with your circle of people. When hiring employees, make sure you have good HR practices set in place to select the right candidates for the job. When finding vendors and business partners, look for people who have similar business values and ethics that guide their work. For instance, choosing a vendor that has a poor track record in terms of company culture or workforce diversity can lead to conflict if your company is trying to promote either value.
As a final tip for entrepreneurs, don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Keeping a sense of humor is as important as being driven and aggressive in business. Keeping that positive mental attitude will help diffuse stressful times and promote good mental and physical health. And to avoid further stress and, at the same time, grow your business into a powerhouse in its industry, use the six tricks aforementioned in this article.