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When you think of longevity in business, some brands that likely come to mind are JPMorgan Chase, McDonald’s, and Nike, among others. These are all businesses that have had their ups and downs but still managed to stand the test of time. While it may not be the desire for every entrepreneur, one can assume success and a legacy is what most hope for.
The burning question you may have is what the recipe for long-lasting success is. While you can find endless videos, tutorials, articles, and books on how to run a business successfully, there are still no guarantees. There are, however, lessons that you can take from those that have attained and sustained success over the years.
Adaptability and entrepreneurship are synonymous because of the unpredictability of the business world. While there are variables you will be able to control, many things that happen along your journey will be out of your control. In such instances, adaptability will be critical. As a business leader especially, you want to build a team of employees that have that same characteristic, so leading by example is key.
To ensure adaptability in your organization, create a procedure for introducing new business processes. It’s a way to ensure your employees are always prepared to pivot. This practice could consist of simple things like having meetings before new changes are introduced so that everyone is adequately briefed and questions can be answered. This should reduce any fear, anxiety, and pushback that could come from those who find change more difficult to adapt to.
The business world is becoming more fast-paced by the day, so knowing how to navigate the twists and turns is essential. You need to be able to adapt to any changes that are thrown your way if you want to be around for the long-haul.
One of the many causes of business failure revolves around finances. According to Forbes, 29% of businesses failed because they ran out of money, while another 18% failed because of pricing and cost issues. This goes to show how vital budgeting is and what a difference it could make in business success.
Further, a study found that 61% of businesses didn’t create a budget in 2018, and it’s easy to guess how well that went for them. When you budget, you reduce your chances of overspending and also ensure money is being spent in areas that will help grow your business. Below are four key areas where you should invest your money.
Your Team: Your employees are the most valuable assets you have in a business. You should, therefore, allocate a portion of your budget to developing your team. One way to do this would be to put money towards hiring and training new staff. You can also invest in putting a structure in place for internal mobility, which could simply help improve retention and minimize recruiting costs. Another idea is to create opportunities for your employees to grow and develop in your organization. Knowing the business they work for provides career-building opportunities that help them achieve their life goals can make them more loyal.
Tools: Running a business without tools in 2020 is one way to reduce your chances of success. Tools have made it possible for businesses to experience exponential growth as they can help boost productivity and efficiency. That said, it’s one of many areas to spend your money as an entrepreneur. For example, if you run an e-commerce business and it’s solely run online, video calling software and collaboration tools could make communication easier.
Marketing: No matter how phenomenal your product or service is if you don’t have a good marketing plan in place, it isn’t likely to go far. Avoid the mistake many millennial entrepreneurs make of spending more money on trying to perfect their products or services than they do on marketing them. Think about the best mediums to market your business and test each platform before pouring money into it. It also helps to hire knowledgeable marketing experts so that your money and time go much further.
Cybersecurity: It is true that the internet has innumerable pros, but one of the cons is the lack of security. For this reason, you have to invest in cybersecurity as an entrepreneur in 2020 if you don’t want to find yourself trying to recover from costly cyberattacks.
Areas you may need to invest in are:
- Anti-virus software.
- Virtual private networks (VPN).
- Employee training for cybersecurity.
Build a Strong Workplace Culture
As mentioned earlier, your employees are an integral aspect of business success. Without them, your business isn’t likely to last a day. Keeping them happy and well taken care of is a way to boost productivity and get them to stick around. To achieve this, start by building a workplace culture that promotes wellness and encourages self-care. If your employees aren’t holistically healthy, your business could end up paying in sick days or high turnover rates.
Promote employee well-being in the workplace by ensuring everyone has reasonable workloads and encouraging health literacy. Also, create quiet and safe spaces for employees to unwind and relax when needed.
Create a Solid Network
An entrepreneur without a strong network isn’t likely to get very far. LinkedIn is a perfect example of somewhere easy to start, as you can use it to connect with professionals globally. You could also decide to do it the traditional way and attend different industry-related conferences, seminars, and events. In the course of networking, you can meet people who would make good business partners and decide to expand business operations to their region. Although some states are better for business than others, it’s always good to broaden your horizons.
If you’re up for the challenge, throw a business networking event as a way of bringing people together and making your business more visible. As with any event, you’ll need to organize food, a venue, entertainment, and tickets. To make it engaging, you could include ice-breakers or activities to get people to interact.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, there is endless advice you can follow and many more strategies that could bring you success. As long as you’re resilient, adaptable and are open to continuous learning, you should eventually find the success you’re looking for.