Building a profitable business is a goal that many new entrepreneurs and small business owners seem to forget.Instead they operate like a “free service provider” setting themselves up to lose money and eventually close shop. No matter what industry you are in – when it comes to building a profitable business, the basics are the basics and the essentials are the essentials. While building your small business, or entrepreneurial endeavor, here are 10 ideas that will set you a part in the market and help you achieve success much faster…Let’s go….
#1 Date ideas, marry innovation.
When it comes to building a profitable business, ideas are what get us in the game; innovation is what keeps us in the game. There is not a better person I can think of when it comes to innovation then Sir Richard Branson, the CEO of Virgin. Virgin is the parent company to more than 300 companies in 34 countries. How is this possible? Simply point to Richard Branson, who I like to call the “King of Innovation.” Branson is not afraid to fail, not afraid to try a new idea: he lives and breathes for innovation. In fact, innovation is what sparked the launch of his Virgin conglomerate. He thought he could create a better airline experience so he started Virgin Airlines. From that one idea he’s now launched and oversees more than 300 companies. I once heard him say “Ideas have multiple levels, so don’t stop at level one.” As a business owner, your ability to see pass level one of your idea, will enable you to be innovative and build a profitable business.
#2 Think product development, not perfection.
A profitable business has figured out how to consistently make more money than it cost to be in business. I know that seems strange for me to say this to business owners, but this idea seems get overlooked. Along with providing a service or great product, you need to make a profit or eventually you will not be able to provide that service or product.
Taking a page from companies like Microsoft, Apple and Intel, they will release a product to the market that they know is not perfect. They then rely on customer feed back to help them make their products and services better. Have you ever heard of the word “Update?” If you have an iPhone like me you have. At least once a month I receive an email from Apple telling me of an update to my phone, an update that will fix a problem on my phone that I paid hundreds of dollars for. These companies know that their product is not perfect, but it is functional.
As a small business owner you have to focus on getting the product in the customer’s hand. Have a built in system that allows you to ask the customer how the product or service is doing. I work with a lot of authors that want to write the perfect book, so they will take years to finish a book, hoping to produce a book free of errors. I have yet to read a perfect book, I’m always amazed when I read a book from a big time author and publisher and find errors in it. Just goes to show you, even the big boys and girls make mistakes. So concentrate on getting your product to the market, worry about perfecting later.
#3 Quiet time is money time.
Very few business owners actually stop to evaluate to see if all the hard work and effort is paying off. Taking a day or so to actually review your systems to see it they are producing the desired results will benefit you greatly in the long run. I know we like to stay busy and “on the grind” but many times, the only thing getting grinded is us. We are putting in a lot of hours, but we fail to check our “Systems For Success (SFS). I call it doing a “Return On Actions” (ROA). Each system you set up in your business should produce measurable results that you can evaluate at a later date.
A measured business is a profitable business.
Example: if one of your marketing tactics is to contact 20 people a day, after a month you would have talked with at least 400 people. Let’s say you speak to each person for 10 minutes, that’s 4000 minutes, which equals close to 70 hours, almost 3 days on the phone. If you are investing that much time on the phone, you need to know what the return is. At least twice a month a evaluate my systems to see if they are producing the results I want and to also see if there is a more effective way I can handle something.
#4 Fail fast.
If you are going to fail – and you will fail (it’s part of the game), then fail fast. Countless business owners are afraid to do anything, because they fear they might fail. If you are in this category, your fear of failing is valid, you are 100% correct in thinking you may fail, but so what? Do it, fail, learn, fix it and keep on moving. That is the process.
David Foster the 15-time Grammy Award winning music producer put it all in perspective when he said in an interview “I have written over 1500 songs in my lifetime, and only 15 have won Grammy’s.” But those 15 Grammy’s makes him one of the best in the business. David has been nominated for 45 Grammy’s in his career, so 30 of those times, he didn’t win. He learned to get over it fast and kept on writing. In business you have to learn to fail fast. If something doesn’t work, learn from it and keep on moving.
#5 Remember every profitable business was once a start-up.
Being a business owner and entrepreneur can be overwhelming to say the least. Some days it can seem like you are putting in so much effort and time but still going nowhere. Keep in mind that every business was a start up once. In the world we live in, we can be easily led into thinking everything happens overnight, but this is just not the case. You name the company and I can almost promise you, they have a story of start, struggle, fail, start again; struggle, fail and finally a glimmer of success, then start again.
As you work towards building a profitable business, remember, you are building for longevity. Don’t be distracted by what appears to be the over night success of others. Know that there is a story behind every business. That’s why I love reading the history behind all the big companies we admire today. They remind us that long hours, hard work, dedication, and patience produced the profitable business we see today.
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