“A big business starts small.”Richard Branson
Every aspiring entrepreneur wants to start and build a thriving business. Happy employees, strong brand image, surging sales, and healthy profit margin, seems like quite a rosy picture, isn’t it? Yes, anyone can start a business, but this is just the first step in a long journey.
Building a successful business and then maintaining it is a formidable challenge that requires entrepreneurs to be on their toes all the time. It’s not without a reason that out of 6.5 million businesses launch every year, only a handful enjoy long-term success.
Fortunately, failure statistics shouldn’t scare you away from realizing your startup dreams. Business success relies on smart planning and decision making. So, the million-dollar question here for those planning to start a new business (or already have) is – what are some things you can do to build a thriving business?
Before I move on to provide readers with valuable information on some tried-and-tested, powerful strategies to implement to run a successful business, I would like to ask you the following question.
How Do You Define A Thriving Business?
“A thriving business is one that registers healthy profits every year, grows, and expands rather quickly.” This is probably the most common answer I have received from many people when asked about what their definition of a thriving business is.
While the success of any business is certainly defined by higher revenue and valuation milestones, I don’t consider these as the only factors that contribute to their survival and eventual success.
As far as I’m concerned, a thriving business is one that goes beyond healthy profit margins and has a significant positive impact on its people, employees, customers, society, community, and/or environment.
“Profit is like oxygen for a company. If you don’t have enough of it, you’re out of the game. But if you think your business is about generating profits, you’re really missing something.”Peter Drucker (Management Consultant, Educator, Author)
I’m sure many aspiring entrepreneurs would have got the point here. While generating profit is essential to the survival of a business, it’s more about how you positively impact the lives of those connected to your brand in one way or another.
Let us now move on to the crux of this article i.e. how to build a thriving business.
Pro Tips To Build A Thriving Business
1. Define The Purpose
“Research has shown that companies that have a higher purpose beyond just profits or being #1 in the market, actually end up generating more profits in the long run.”Tony Hseih (CEO, Zappos)
What is your main purpose behind starting a business? Your purpose is the reason for your organization coming into existence. Your purpose provides a deeper meaning to keep the ball rolling during unavoidable challenges that spring up when operating a business.
As mentioned before, the companies that have a wider purpose than only churning out profits end up faring much better in the long term. A company with a purpose doesn’t count itself as an alone entity. Rather, it takes into account the impact of its decisions on people, communities, environment, country, and the world.
And yes, the purpose need not be as grand as changing the world, but it should be more than you and your business. So sit down and jot down WHY you want to do what you plan to do.
2. Set Revenue & Profitability Targets
“Revenue is the engine that funds all our innovation. Without revenue, nothing will happen- it will remain a mere idea.”Larry Page, Google co-founder
It’s true that for any business to be successful, it has to make an adequate amount of money to sustain its operations and re-invest profit for future growth and expansion. Factor in how much money your business needs to make on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis to pay off business expenses (sourcing, production, staff, capital, and more) and take home the expected profit after meeting all the expenses.
Figure out where you are now and where you want to get to. I would suggest creating a monthly revenue goal target rather than setting that big yearly revenue goal. For example, rather than setting a goal of making $100,000 yearly, you can say that you want to be making $10,000 per month.
After you’ve set your monthly revenue goal, it’s time to create a plan to actually achieve them. You can take a look at your pricing structure to check if your products are priced appropriately. How many units do you need to sell every month to reach your profitability and revenue goals? Have a clear idea of what you need to keep your business running and thriving.
3. Hire The Best People
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”Steve Jobs
A captain is as successful as the team is. Remember this age-old adage when starting a new business. Your plans and vision will be executed by your employees, and how efficiently they do it is directly proportional to how well (or poorly) your business fares.
Factor in your budget and demand, and pick experts in the fields that you’re not. Hold discussions with them, ask for their feedback, and involve them in decision making to make better, informed decisions for your business. Don’t shy away from delegating; you cannot do everything all the time.
Trust your team’s ability and skills to perform assigned tasks proficiently. Successful Managers, leaders and business owners take care of their teams and delegate tasks when and where required.
However, it’s vital to have a clear onboarding strategy for employees and a system for measuring results.
4. Choose The Best Tools For Team Collaboration
86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.
Recruiting the best people for the job is important, but you have to provide them the best tools and techniques to help them achieve better results in less time. In this tech-savvy age, if you’re not using the right technology to your advantage then you are likely to be left behind your competitors.
There’s no dearth of to-do list apps, team collaboration software, and SaaS solutions available to simplify project management, but you have to choose one that can help you optimize your business. There are some features that any good team collaboration software must have. These are:
- Online proofing
- Task management
- Scheduling and Organizing
- Timesheets and time tracking
- Workflows and Kanban Board
- Gantt charts
- Group chat
- Online discussions
- Third-party integrations
Prefer to use solutions that can provide you the best value for money and maximum features in one centralized location to provide your employees ease of using the tool. Ensure that the tool is scalable, so it can grow along with your business and meet its ever-changing needs.
5. Take Care Of Your Employees
Harvard Business Review shows that 88% of employees seriously consider benefits like health benefits and flexible hours. For any business to achieve success and then maintain it for a long period of time, it’s absolutely essential to have a well-performing team that is stable and highly satisfied with your business.
In other words, your business should have a high employee retention rate. According to Gallup, 10% turnover is healthy, but every industry and every organization is different. Contrary to popular perception, a fat salary is not the top reason when an employee chooses to leave a job.
However, many employees choose to stay because of the benefits offered to them by their organizations. If your business does not offer significant benefits (health, flexible timings) to employees then it could be at a competitive disadvantage.
Following are some benefits which are most valued by job seekers:
- Health, dental, and vision insurance
- More flexible hours
- More vacation time
- Work from home options
- Paid maternity/paternity leaves
- Free gym membership
- Free day-care services
- Free refreshments
- Employee outings
- Team-bonding events
While it’s true that it’s not possible (for many startups) to provide multiple benefits to employees, you can always consider your budget to decide which benefits you want to give to your team.
6. Detachment To Outcomes
“If you want something very badly, you are at risk of becoming its slave.”Daniel Vassailo (Entrepreneur)
I know you’re putting in all your efforts, time, and money to your business to make it grow and yield desired results. Detachment to outcomes may sound cold, but you don’t have to be so attached to the goal that you get destroyed (emotionally) by any setbacks and delays that seemingly halt your business’ growth.
No way I’m saying you should be careless; put in your best efforts and remain focused, but don’t fret and whine about things that are beyond your control. Positive outcomes motivate you, negative outcomes teach you lessons. Don’t be too hard on yourself and your team that both of you develop a defensive mindset that only makes you worried about making the business survive rather than thrive.
While there would be many dissenting opinions on the ways that can help you build a thriving business, I hope the aforementioned tips prove more than useful to you. As I said before, starting a business is easy, but turning it into a successful venture calls for time, commitment, and willingness to learn and adapt to new situations.
Implementing each of these tips in your life as an entrepreneur and there are good chances that you’d reach your goal of running a successful and thriving business sooner than later. Good luck!