Industries are constantly changing. Customers are switching preferences occasionally, and trends come and go. When it comes to business success, however, there are principles that remain effective regardless of the times. If you’re just starting out in your entrepreneurial journey, it’s worth learning and applying these timeless ideas:
Know your competition
Your rivals in the industry are sources of valuable insights on how you can improve your operations. When looking at the competition, you should be able to spot three things: their strengths, weaknesses, and failures. The rival’s strengths are models for good practices in which your business should consider adopting. Their weaknesses, on the other hand, are opportunities you can seize to offer more value to your customers.
Failures are warnings, the stuff you want to steer clear from. Remember these things as you evaluate your competitor’s marketing strategies, store operations, customer service, and all other aspects of the business. Use these insights in establishing your unique selling proposition in the market.
If you’re considering buying a franchise, whether that be a small pizza store or a huge women’s fashion franchise, the parent company should give you a recent competitor’s analysis report.
Most people get into business thinking that once they enter the industry, they won’t have a problem with money anymore. What with glamorous magazine covers and TV shows featuring mansions and countless cars, people are drawn to entrepreneurship.
Yes, doing business is lucrative. It can put you in a comfortable lifestyle, but it’s not the case always. At the first few months (even years) of your business, you won’t have that much of return. In fact, you may even sacrifice your personal savings to keep it afloat. Once you’ve taken off already, there’s always the risk of failure — everything you worked for could be gone, with the uncertainty of politics and economy, a new rival in the market in the future, a natural disaster, etc.
Regardless of where you are at your business (but especially when you’re starting), live frugally — even though business is doing well. You’ll never know when you would need that extra cash.
Adapt to the changing times
As mentioned, everything in the business industry is fast changing. If you don’t know how to adapt, you would be left behind. You would be outdated even before you start your business, so anticipate trends as much as possible.
Keep abreast with any pending legislation. This often opens up market niches and business opportunities. Take note of technologies affecting your business, as this can dictate market preferences. Just look at the retail industry revolutionized with the invention of those little online shopping carts or the real estate sector changed with the creation of virtual reality on home tours.
Additionally, listen to your customers. Their needs shape the industry you’re moving at. Conduct surveys, spend time organizing focus-group discussions, and interview them. The bottom line is to bend where the industry is headed.
The best way to secure business success is to adhere to principles that have been tried and tested through the years. Keep in mind these truths as you start and grow your endeavor.