We have all heard and read stories of businesses that fail and businesses that take off. Learning from the experiences of other entrepreneurs increases your likelihood of success. Here are four key takeaways to fuel business growth.
Richard Feloni, a senior reporter for www.BusinessInsider.com, interviewed 20 successful entrepreneurs about the most important lesson they learned in their 20s. One-quarter of the lessons had something to do with having confidence. For example:
« Any limitations on personal growth are self-imposed. »
« Don’t take business personally. »
« Don’t sell yourself short. »
« The first step to becoming an entrepreneur is gaining self-confidence. »
« The importance of being decisive. »
Strip away layers of bureaucracy.
Canadianbusiness.com highlights the concept in an article by Alexandra Bosanac, How Flat Hierarchies Help Companies Stay Nimble And Grow Faster. Referencing the success of Corporate Travel Management Solutions (CTMS), which has eliminated middlemanagement altogether, Bosanac explains that the result is a fluid business « with senior executives taking a hands-on approach in day-to-day operations » and better customer relations. Her advice: « For firms not ready to make such a radical leap, simply organizing staff into strategic self-contained pods that each use a flat hierarchy is an easy first step. »
Bounce back from failure.
Jodi Goldstein, Managing Director at Harvard Innovation Labs, writes for entrepreneur.com in « How Startups Can Bounce Back After A Failed First Launch. » The article highlights four steps:
1. Collect Customer Feedback
2. Consider Bringing in New Advisors
3. Look at How Your Competition Is Faring
4. Don’t Let Your Pride Prevent You from Pivoting
She encourages business owners: « Great entrepreneurs balance the conviction in their ideas with the humility to take action when their original ideas aren’t translating into the desired business results. If your customers, advisors and competitors are telling you that it’s time to change directions, I’d strongly encourage you to take this advice to heart. »
Be ready for success.
You’ve likely heard of the Pokémon GO game, which has attracted millions of users. The maker, Niantic, hasn’t been able to keep up with demand, however, resulting in server problems and insufficient tech support. (Though people still love it!) It’s an apt example of not being prepared to handle an influx of more customers than expected. Whether a software company, transportation provider, manufacturer or service provider, planning matters. Think ahead to the investments required to manage demand. You want to make a positive impression on every first-time customer.
Successful entrepreneurs pour their heart and cash into their vision; they also envision what it will take if their idea exceeds expectation.