For over a month, I stared at my business plan, was distraught, I knew it was not going to be easy, but no one said it is going to be this hard. I hit rock bottom, and it was either I give up or looked for a solution to the problem.
Both options were a bitter pill to swallow- you know that feeling when everyone is counting on you to succeed, but deep down you know you are hanging on a thin thread.
However, something happened, probably by chance or maybe the universe decided to give me a little push. I stumbled upon some business principles…actually, a friend shared them with me, and I decided to put it to work. After all, how low can I go? I’m already at rock bottom.
So far, these principles have been working for me; although I am not where I aim to be, I am certainly not at the rock bottom again; things are looking good for me, and I decided to share these principles to you.
Before you proceed, you need to understand that some of these principles may seem off or too simple to be true, but sometimes there is beauty in simplicity.
Love, as simple as it may sound it is a powerful tool that can fix your home, school and of course business to name a few. The world is getting colder by the minute, and I do not mean in temperature, but in the act.
We, including the people you feel, do not care about the next neighbor need love. A little warmth in the way relate to the people around you goes a long way; if you want to be successful, you have to love whoever work up to you.
It does not matter how ugly, beautiful, tall, they look, make sure you use a tone and expression that speaks love. Remember love is powerful, and a recipe for business growth. Make sure you are known for your love and kind acts towards your clients and the people around you.
Having a successful business does not just happen by chance, you have to take cautious steps to make it happen- and Love my friend, is one of the principles to grow your business.
Follow-up your customers
Getting one client, maybe sheer luck, but having ten repeated customers is not by chance! My business sucked because I FAILED to implement this principle. I felt I do not need to follow-up my customers, after all, I did not be them to patronize me in the first place, why do I need to check up on them? I am not that desperate.
If you are like me, then you need to change your perception on follow-up as soon as possible because follow-up is not only an act of love but an opportunity to imprint your business in the heart of your consumers.
Whatever business you are building, you need to cultivate the attitude of after sale service. Your clients are humans too; they need the human touch.
When you follow this second rule, you are telling your client that you value and care about them. Who doesn’t want to feel appreciated? I thought as much. Secondly, you made them understand that you are not only after their money but their well-being. So, if you want to gain consumer loyalty, then get ready to follow-up your customers.
Do not underestimate the power of social media
The world has gone digital, almost everything you do to is done via the internet. If you have not given your business and online presence, then you are far behind. The power of social media cannot be overstated. The reason why many small businesses are competing with the big leagues is because of social media.
Gone are those days where big companies and other few upcoming companies have access to the traditional advertising (TV and Radio commercials). These days you do not need to break the bank before putting your products and services into the limelight.
With the help of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etcetera. Anyone can showcase what he or she are selling to millions of people all over the world. It is a platform for marketing and promoting your business, do not stop talking about your business, what it stands for and how it will benefit the society.
Billions of people are on social media, millions are active; so if you want to meet these people, you are to sign up. Create an online brand, don’t just sit in the office and pray for customers to rush to your office, you have to meet them first.
However, it is not about signing up; you have to be careful what you post online. Unfortunately, social media has destroyed many careers because these victims neglected basic rules. Whatever you post online can either attract people to your business or give your company a negative image.
Know what to post online; ensure they are edifying, interesting, fun, and still educational. Steer clear from politics, racism, favorite sports teams, etcetera. These topics are highly sensitive, and should not be treated on your platform except if it is what your business stands for.
Always be posting pictures, ideas, tips n’ tricks that will help people. Do not forget to make your profile interesting.
Be Fair and honest in your dealings with people
Scamming people to gain more money is never the answer to a building a successful business. You may enjoy the short-term gratification, but you will never build a successful company with dishonesty.
No company built on dishonesty has stood the test of time; it shows ripping people off will kill your business faster than you can imagine. Let integrity be your watchword, also teach your employees this business rule too because if they are not honest, your company will be affected even though you’ve been honest in your dealings with clients.
Never be in a hurry to make money, chase the clients, and not their pockets. Try as much as you can to earn their trust.
When you are known for your integrity, people will refer you to others, and referrals increase the growth of your business.
Do not give up
I know “mantra” has been said over and over and again, that it is difficult not overlook it. Well, no one has ever climbed to the top by giving up. I almost lost sight of my business goals, when things were not going as planned.
Moreover, what is the point of giving up when you have already toiled, sweated, taken the bruise? You need to get compensated for it. Also, remember that adversity is your ticket to greatness.
Furthermore, when it seemed all hope is lost, get your business blueprint, your vision, and mission statement of your business; try to remember why you embarked on the journey in the first place. You will be re-energized once you can reflect on the reason(s) you started the business in the first place.
However, I need to sound a note of warning here; everyone is meant to be something in life. We all have the divine visions we need to fulfill in life. You will find it difficult if you are not on the right path. Ask yourself these questions
- Why did you start the business in the first place?
- What is your purpose in life?
- Are you on the right track?
- Are you doing the business because it is the new cool?
- What do you plan to achieve?
This will help you figure out if you are meant to do this business
Share your knowledge
When I first saw this rule, I objected… if I give what I have “upstairs” there will be no more unique ideas for again; the knowledge will be saturated, and I will run out of business.
That was what I thought- until I get to understand the meaning of this slogan “givers never lack”. As Daniel Ally rightly said in one of his business series, “as you learn you grow and as you teach other people, you learn more as well.”
There is a mystery behind knowledge- it is not meant to be hidden or hoarded. Knowledge is expected to be shared. You learn new things; you gain new Rhema as you teach others what you know.
So whenever you get the chance to teach others, do it with all gladness of heart, because you will be learning more, and also be a part of someone else’s success story.
There are more business rules, but these five will definitely change your business, and place you on the right part.
Always be creative
It does not matter how big and exciting your previous idea was, do not stop there. In business, I learned you need to be on your toes every single minute.
Believe it or not, there are several people with the same idea as yours, so you need to create something continually. Do not let people get bored of your business, always give them something to look out for.
Hire the right team
No matter how big a tree is, it will never make a forest. No matter how financially buoyant you are or how intelligent you are, you need other people to succeed in business.
Most big companies you see or hear of today have a load of teams constantly working to improve the company. These wealthy men understand the benefits of hiring in their organization.
Furthermore, you don’t just need anyone to join your business that is why you need to be slow in hiring and quick to fire. Before you hire anyone, ensure the person is on the same page as your company; do not be quick to hire anyone just because you need extra help.
Secondly, when you notice your employee is pulling down the business, do not hesitate to fire.
This may sound harsh, but it is the truth. After taking your time to scrutinize, teach the person what the company policies, and in the end, the person is dragging the company backward; do not hesitate to let him go. Moreover, if you hire the right team, there will be no need to fire anyone. So, take your time when hiring.
When you understand and follow these rules, there will be a reawakening in your business. Confession of a Nigerian business owner.