A vast majority of businesses started as small companies before they became multinational chains. Forever 21 and Starbucks began as a small, fast fashion store and a coffee shop respectively before proliferating into hundreds of stores in various countries.
However, startups require hard work, clear vision, unwavering determination, and a little luck to transition into sustainable business entities. In addition, many business owners understand the importance of sound business advice from entrepreneurial magnates.
Following are a few business advice shared by some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. These words of wisdom will help you jumpstart your company in a competitive business environment of the 21st century.
1) bDave Thomas, Founder, Wendy’s
Dave Thomas founded the famous fast food shop, Wendy’s, in Columbus Ohio in 1969. As of January 2017, Wendy’s has a total 6,537 branches all over the world. Thomas said:
“What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.”
Confidence in your product, keen understanding of your target consumers and unrelenting drive to keep your business afloat even in the most perilous of times. These are the building blocks necessary for success according to Dave Thomas.
2) bLarry Page, Co-Founder, Google
You can gauge Google’s popularity by the simple fact that it has become a verb. We google for information all the time!
Various components came into play that made Google the most used search engine at 77%. These include subsequent iterations of intuitive algorithms that provide the most accurate results and a unique work culture to empower its employees to get creative and go the extra mile.
In addition, Google came into being to fill a growing gap created by the absence of a search engine to organize the growing amount of online content.
“Always deliver more than expected.”
He implemented this advice by creating a smart search engine giant that is incomparable to its competitors.
3) Tim Westergren, Pandora Founder
Tim Westergren’s advice to startup businesses is;
“Make your team feel respected, empowered and genuinely excited about the company’s mission.”
Even if your startup firm comprises of a few employees, it is mandatory to make them feel valued and a vital part of the company. The prosperity and growth of your startup are directly proportional to the performance of your employees.
Therefore, for the employees to achieve sales goals consistently and increase profits, you have to implement a client reward program. Motivate them to perform productively and counsel the under-performers to encourage them. A healthy work environment leads to content, high-performing employees and, consequently, increased revenue generation.
4) Bill Gates, Microsoft Founder, and former CEO
Bill Gates needs no introduction. The Microsoft founder dispels his wisdom in the following words:
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
Customer acquisition is far more expensive than customer retention according to multiple sources. Hence, it is important to keep your customers happy and loyal to the company.
Many unsatisfied customers will simply take their business elsewhere, most likely to your competitors. You have to learn from your mistakes that may be driving your consumers away and work on rectifying them.
Implement reputation management and express genuine regret for the mishap. Finally, offer a resolution in the form of valuable discounts, product replacement or reimbursement if necessary.
Institute a pre-planned course of action to deal with disgruntled customers and make it well known to the customer representatives.
5) Lisa Stone, BlogHer Co-Founder, and CEO
Stone offers another perspective on customer satisfaction. She said:
“Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell.”
It is imperative to keep open channels of communication between the company and the clients. You are producing for the customers.
Therefore, by asking them about their requirements and expectations, you can create a better product or offer an improved service. The customers also feel valued and involved in the production phase and feel more loyal to the company.
6) Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder
Branson started his passion project from a basement in West London. Now Virgin Group Ltd., a multinational conglomerate, has a net worth of more than 5.5 billion pounds.
“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.”
The entrepreneurial tip is actually quite simple yet effective. As human beings, we can’t help making mistakes. However, what set the high achievers apart from the substandard majority is their ability to dust themselves off after every failure and raise their standards to meet the challenge.
Every successful business owner has made mistakes. But you must learn from your mistakes and alter your course of action. Crosscheck all the factors that contributed towards the failure. Was it the incompetence of your team? Was it an unwanted or poor quality product? Do you lack sufficient resources? Was there a loophole in the business model?
Attend employee training programs or seminars. Perform a thorough market research to understand what is missing from the market and how your product can fill the gap.
You can approach investors to supplement your resources. Finally, evaluate your sales cycle definition to improve your marketing efforts, increase lead generation and convert more prospects.
7) Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO
“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”
Zappos initially came in to being as an online shoe retailer with the name of shoesite.com. Its founder had a clear vision, to fulfill the needs of online shoppers looking to buy shoes online. Therefore, he quit his day job and started the online shoe store. However, the name was later changed to Zappos to be able to expand into other categories.
The key takeaway lesson from this quote is to divert all your focus on producing top-notch product or service that was your initial vision. The revenues will pour in as the by-product of your innovative offerings.
8) Estee Lauder, Founder of Estee Lauder
Mrs. Lauder launched her namesake brand in 1946 and became a beauty industry legend. She said,
“I never dreamed about success; I worked for it.”
Entrepreneurship requires determination and discipline. You need vision, passion and smart decision-making skills to succeed, but most importantly, you need to persevere during the hard times to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Begin by breaking the complex, daunting business plan into small manageable units and tackle each task individually. Set attainable goals for your business model and celebrate each milestone before moving on to the next course of action. This will keep you motivated and make the overwhelming responsibilities seem achievable.
9) Michael Dell, Dell Chairman, and CEO
Dell puts an intelligent thought into simple words. He said,
“Ideas are a commodity. Execution of them is not,”
A myriad number of people come up with ideas for a new startup. However, only a handful of them take the plunge into the entrepreneurial world. Therefore, if you have performed a comprehensive market research to gauge the value of your idea and the results are affirmative, you should start your own business.
10) Steve Jobs, former Co-Founder, and CEO, Apple
The late business magnate, a revolutionary in the field of microcomputer, said:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
Finally, if you enjoy running a business and love being part of the corporate world, only then you can establish a flourishing business.
If you believe your idea is brilliant and you have the perseverance and ability to work hard, then go for it. Do not let the failures discourage you; instead, use them as a learning curve. Surround yourself with the most proficient team you can assemble and be a source of motivation for your employees, teammates and even co-workers.
ABOUT Erica Silva
Erica Silva is a blogger who loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology, science and brain health. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place.
Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1