In ancient Egypt, people used astronomy to predict the flooding of the Nile to get sufficient water for their crops, using the same irrigation practices we use today; some things just never get old. Within the business sector, it’s no different. Yes, there may be new, exciting, trends out there spreading like wildfire, but they’ll never be as popular, or as effective, as some classical strategies that are already in use. No matter the business, you (almost) always need to get a firm grasp of the basics first, before running off and experimenting with different ideas strategies. So, if by any chance you happen to be a starting entrepreneur, and you aren’t exactly sure what these timeless strategies are, then be sure to check the list down below.
Keep an Eye on the Competition
What better way for you to learn the ropes of the trade than from your immediate competition. Surely they know exactly ‘what’s up’, seeing how they’ve—quite possibly—been in the business for longer than you have. Take the time to study them and conduct some market research to learn how well they’re actually doing, and how do they go about doing their business. Implement these tactics (that worked so well for them) into your own strategies, improve them, and give your competitors a good run for their money; rinse and repeat. That way, you always stay ahead of the competition, while making sure they’re constantly lagging behind you. In essence, these tactics could be anything from using the latest tech-trends and software for your business to finding new and exciting ways of engaging your loyal fans and followers on social media; whatever it takes to be number one.
Save For Rainy Days
This strategy is as old as the classical fable about the ant and the grasshopper. No matter how well your business may be doing at the moment, you always have to store some cash for those rainy days; just to be on the safe side. Of course, this does not mean you should be cutting corners, or anything of the sorts, but that you should work towards making a savings account or some other means of saving your money. At the end of the day, entrepreneurship is more like a marathon than a sprint; you need to effectively outlast your opponents. Hence, make sure you have a steady cash reserve in place so you don’t go about declaring your bankruptcy anytime soon.
There’s nothing more exciting than being your own boss. Yet, as the cliché saying goes “with great power comes great responsibility”, and that’s most definitely the case here. There’s no one to hide behind when you make a bad business decision, and no one to turn to for help, or advice, when things get rough. That’s why a lot of successful entrepreneurs go down the franchising route. In essence, you still get to be your own boss, but with the added benefit of running a tried-and-tested business model with a solid infrastructure to back you up. The main trick, however, is to find yourself a profitable niche with room for expansion. For instance, take a look at the building cleaning business which, according to the U.S. Department of Labour, has a projected annual growth of 6% up to the year 2024 (at least). Also, the fact that work (and clients) will only keep increasing with every new hospital and office-complex being built, gives this industry some massive potential; especially so for young and ambitious entrepreneurs looking to prove themselves.
Now, just because you’re starting out small doesn’t mean you can’t dream of becoming a big and successful enterprise. Just take a look at Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. Both entrepreneurs started their respective careers inside of their own garages, yet look at them now; Microsoft has a net worth of around 750 billion US dollars, while Amazon is more in the range of 1 trillion. How did they do it? Well, first of all, they’ve found an exciting niche market worth exploiting. Next, they went against all odds to accomplish their dreams, ignoring naysayers and haters who said otherwise. Finally, after years of continued patience and persistence, they managed to climb the very top of the business ladder, and become entrepreneurial Gods.
Listen to Customers and Adapt
One of the most common mistakes beginner entrepreneurs make is not taking their target audience (or market) into consideration. After all, you’re not building products and, or, services for yourself, but for others—hence why you need to actually listen to what customers have to say. If you’re to evolve your small business, you need to take your customer feedback to heart. Of course, not everyone will provide you with constructive (useful) criticism. Yet, there will be times when people will either suggest or ask for some additional services and features. Don’t let these ideas fall on deaf ears and turn your business into a brand that cares about its customers.
All in all, seeing how Rome, and the Pyramids, weren’t built in a single day, you can’t expect your business to become a global success overnight. Be patient, follow your dreams, and use these strategies lead out before you to gain an edge over your competition; success will follow suit.