This article examines the long journey to success and the requisite of grit, courage, and resilience. More important, however, is the opportunity to share some attitudes and actions, like the ‘playbook’ of rules or instructions.
The recent pandemic has become a significant accelerant in conducting business and a new way of living. Entrepreneurs will likely face the utmost adversity in this era as the current economic climate erodes. The ones that will survive are resolute, persevering during turbulent times and deploying alternatives that will facilitate adapting to new strategies.
Like many other business operators, we sometimes become comfortable with the status quo, oblivious of when we’re bordering on stagnation and decline. But unfortunately, most businesses will hit a plateau, and we must regularly make a brief but honest assessment of our overall operations. Acknowledge our periods of ruts and dry spells, and figure out how to improve overall productivity and morale. Ultimately, ditch every form of mediocrity, and eliminate anything–or anyone–that slows the business operation or creates a bottleneck.
Learn New Skills
Research suggests that, at some point, an entrepreneur should return to school or upgrade in areas lacking knowledge or skill set. Reports show that even the most successful owners have displayed deficiencies in sales, marketing, finance, and leadership skills. Returning to school is a soul-searching decision and a rewarding and valuable investment in the long haul. However, if your goal is to run a profitable entity, it must stem from a solid commitment to learning.
We’re often puzzled by our shortcomings when we postpone highly crucial decisions, such as implementing systems and processes requiring adjustments. At other times, we may not have fully utilized some team members’ skills, transitioned them to more fulfilling roles, or failed to demote ‘sleepers’ and underperformers. Exercise wisdom and insight to guard against weakening your vision and the desire to move forward.
Know Your Customers
Before embarking on new marketing or sales strategies, take time to know, study, and maintain your current customer base. The long-term goal is to improve customer satisfaction, attraction, and intimacy. Then, work closely with your marketing and sales teams to develop clear action plans for identifying your customers’ specific needs. It would help if you armed yourself with straightforward and practical ‘tools’ to pivot your ideal clients to buy your goods, programs, or services. Finally, provide an ongoing platform to upgrade your services and generate regular feedback about your experiences.
Commit to Diversity
Our businesses and core missions are crucial in shaping society, so an ongoing commitment and adoption of diversity initiatives are paramount. Engage in the great opportunities offered by diversity and inclusion because it is a choice. Failure on our part could result in a gradual decline in employee morale and customer relations. We can exercise our influence through our beliefs, values, words, actions, and others’ acceptance.
Entrepreneurs must diversify their goods or services to scale and drive revenue to sustain their operations. First, build multiple streams of income around a model that is both viable and sustainable. Then, if one or more projects or businesses fail, embrace the failure and quickly create new, better, and more-modern structuring systems. The systems will help your next business venture to operate independently during volatile junctures.
Life will likely throw you down repeatedly, with barrages of difficulties that can sometimes create rippling effects. When hardship and problems come, have the will to be courageous, push beyond the limits, and face them head-on. Being oblivious or unprepared could be messy, confusing, and chaotic. History shows that some of the most successful entrepreneurs endured dark, heart-wrenching, and disruptive periods in their personal lives and businesses. But they stayed the course and succeeded through sheer determination and inner strength.
We must consider the current political warfare, inflation rocking the globe, and ongoing civil unrest worldwide. Despite these, we must support and stand by our allies and communities, no matter how hard the wind blows. Of course, we’ll make several mistakes through these uncertain times because of anxiety and poor decision-making. But we must ‘fireproof’ our businesses, recalibrate our lifestyles, and avoid the culture of fear. So keep going, maximize your focus, and stay balanced to bounce back and thrive.
Jennifer M Williams | Editor-in-Chief