The rules, regulations and recommendations, standards and solutions, and the unending lists of advice offered for a stipend or more often – free of charge, to someone embarking on a business idea can be ceaseless and overwhelming. In truth, there will always be so many considerations for being an entrepreneur or establishing a business.
Building successful businesses involve too many things. And for many people [who you shouldn't totally blame], it is almost impossible to lay their hands on the correct set of rules which would guarantee, [to an extent] business success in their peculiar society, nation and even transnationally. It is somewhat easy to come up with a list of virtues that should supposedly lead one to business success, but as it is with life, even more so, with business - nothing is guaranteed. Apart from the focal points to be discussed here, you should also consider the impact of the following: passion, vision, focus, hard work, purpose, flexibility, innovation, longevity and discipline. The list is not exhaustive.
The 3’Ps – People; Product; Plan
While these are not all encompassing, acknowledging and making effort to deliver on all 3 P's stated should go a long way in helping one achieve a sustainable establishment.
People are super-important to entrepreneurs and establishments. For lack of a better clause - 'it is impossible to over-emphasise the importance of people to the survival of a business'. To put it in simple terms, every business is started with some groups of people in mind.
'People,' does not just refer to customers. Those at the top of the food chain, suppliers and even big time competitors [who might end up acquiring your business] are important. As a business owner or a prospective one, it is of real essence that those you are constantly around are 'quality' individuals - for the sake of the ideas they bring, the insight and foresight and the intellectual conversations you would engage in.
Not sure the popular saying – “show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are,” will ever apply better. As friends or colleagues, a conscious effort must be put into attaining and maintaining a balanced relationship with people who have the right skills, say or think the right things and of course everyone needs a ‘truth teller’. One who would look you in the eye and tell you the truth regardless how you feel about it. For family members, you don't get to choose but you can at least control the amount of time spent with those who do not add quality to your enterprise.
Products are another key factor that push people into the entrepreneurship path. Finding that one item or service you passionately believe in. That one thing, you're willing to sacrifice your time and resources for. Rather than blind belief and overstated optimism, it is advised that one conducts some thorough researches in order to ascertain the viability of marketing and investing in that product. Conduct research to be certain that this product is a need or at least a worthy luxury.
At conception stage, this product should already be innovative, still you should be prepared to introduce more innovation with time, allowing the product evolve as the market does. You will also need to answer these questions:
Is your product marketable regionally or nationally and best of all, globally? Is your product durable? If your responses are in the affirmative, then you've got an item on your hands. Don't forget to protect your product/idea/service from getting ‘stolen’ as 'copying' cannot be totally eluded. Patenting, copyrighting or trade marking are good forms of protection.
Plans - this is considerably the most difficult part. Here is a hypothetical valuation of a plan - you know you have a good plan when your money feels worthless without that plan. This is self explanatory.
For funding, marketing and other factors, every business needs a comprehensive plan designed to help achieve set targets and goals [long or short term]. One ought to include tasks, deadlines, dates, forecasts, budgets and projections. Plans should not be generic and over simplified. Rather, it should be specific – for every business, a different plan. It should fit the needs of the idea.
A plan should be realistic; it should contain points or ideas that can be implemented in your environs, not working on rules which were set and tested in totally different geographic regions. A good plan should clearly identify responsibilities and assumptions. It should be able to get people committed to your cause. Very crucial, plans should be kept alive by following it up.
As key as it is to have a brilliantly written, beautifully formatted and excellently researched plan, it should be kept in mind that great planning should afford answers on what [should be done], when [it should be done], who [is to get it done] and most importantly how much [will it cost to get it done].
There are a host of other keys to thriving in business which might range from building something you believe in, stacking up reserves in funds or working on a thin budget to dealing with being copied. However, for continuous innovation and evolvement, note that the 3 P's always set the pace and prevent one from getting weary in the marathon called business, as setting up a successful business is never a sprint.
By Paterson Mgbeoji