What is it that makes a business stay afloat in today’s marketplace….actually not only to stay afloat but to prosper, grow and show a successful return for the individual(s) who have invested time and money? This is a subject that requires deeper thought and analysis. A successful business start up plan can be made up of various strategies, but some of these, when looked at closer can really form a solid foundation which is the key for a business to grow, prosper, and service long term.
Many successful entrepreneurs seem to start with a generally creative idea that has been formulated from either the gift of a thoughtful mind or maybe as a solution to s specific problem. Either way, is the no doubt the beginning of many a successful business plan. But creativity can only take you so far; the idea has to meet what would be considered very important criteria: is the new product or service an improvement over similar products in the market place? can it be delivered faster, cheaper, with better quality? Will it solve a problem or fill a need in a more cost efficient manner? Does it have the ability to be adapted to or be used in coordination with existing products to expand the sphere of business opportunities for the successful entrepreneur? Lots to think about right?
If you were to do an analysis of the traits of a successful business, you would surely see a pattern of pretty clear actions necessary for long term survival and successful business development. First and foremost, you will see the evidence of a successful business planning process, and to supplement that process, you will see a definitive plan to create working capital to meet the most immediate short term needs of the business. The requirements for cash flow requirements will be a function of the business plan, which should have spelled out all capital requirements until the business starts to generate cash flow. Many start up businesses fail, but the ones who succeed into a period exceeding three years often can trace that initial sucess to the strengths outlines here.
Another critically important trait of a successful entrepreneur is the ability to analyze and interpret prevailing market conditions. Although sales projections and sales results are an important piece of the puzzle, they do not tell the whole story. What a successful entrepreneur needs to do is to have a “feel” or practical knowledge of the market. Do his products or services really fill a void in the market? How do his products compare with those of the competition? What are his customers perceptions of his product or service? Quality, Price, Delivery, Reliability? As a successful entrepreneur analyzes the above input from the marketplace, he or she must have the ability to react to changes rapidly and capitalize on opportunities before the competition. As a response to customer input or from having a “feel” for the marketplace, a successful business will have the ability to create successful solutions to changing customer requirements or demands. The ultimate effect of this is that the customer will have a better perception of the business of one that is pro-active rather that re-active. This will ultimately lead to stronger and deeper levels of customer satisfaction and foster long term trust.
The next step after ideas, business plans, short term financing, understanding the market, and having the ability to adapt to changes in the market , is the ability to secure funding for capital projects and other financial requirements. Although the business plan serves as the foundation of any successful entrepreneur, there is inevitably the time and situation that requires more extensive financial considerations. It may be the need for additional plant or equipment, or refinement/ development of a new product or service with the various stages of start-up, research and development, increased manufacturing capabilities, and/or additional marketing expenses. It is really in the best interest of the successful entrepreneur to have a thorough working knowledge of all the funding opportunities available; governmental and non governmental agencies for grants and low interest loans, traditional lending institutions, trade association funding sources etc. A combination of any or all of the above resources may the most effective strategy for long term success.
The final item we will discuss in this piece is something that is really an intangible, but still extremely important for the successful entrepreneur and successful business to become one and the same. It is said that successful entrepreneurs are not simply born, but are made by the consistent application of dedication, persistence, discipline, and single minded focus. That is absolutely true. But the intangible we are talking about is the ability to look at someone who has reached a great degree of success and ask yourself; How did he or she achieve that level of success. We are talking about a mentor. Someone who has been there before and is gracious enough to allow you to pick their brain and take advantage of their experience and success. It is surprising how many successful entrepreneurs are more than willing to mentor and guide you on the path to a successful business. Most who have reached that level of success are confident of their abilities and not intimidated by a newcomer who is striving to also reach the highest levels of business and personal development.
This may not be the ultimate guide to becoming a successful entrepreneur or building a successful business, but the strategies and advice outlined here will give you a solid foundation from which to build your success story.
Keep on the lookout for more information in future articles on business and wealth building strategies.
Originally posted here