Anyone running a business wants it to succeed. There are thousands of pieces of sage advice that apply to any business; and thousands more for every niche. Where do you look first? Try out these pieces of wisdom and see how they fit.
5 Unlikely Tips for Business Success
Five business tips for startup success:
1. Focus on Happiness, Not Profit
Too many businesses today are started around the idea of making a quick buck, and too many of them fail because they assault a perceived niche with a corporate attitude, rather than the personal touch needed to launch and grow a start-up.
Providing a product to an open niche won't necessarily make a business a success. Providing something with the goal of making your audience happy is much more likely to succeed.
Make something that produces happiness, makes lives easier and solves a problem. Making it profitable will come naturally once you have the interested audience.
2. Expand in Unlikely Directions
Typical business advice is geared towards the standard Australian and American markets -- that is, those where English is the dominant language.
For many businesses, it's just easier to only consider these markets. This leaves a large percentage of the world population without the same business interests that America enjoys.
If you have the ability to expand in an unorthodox direction, it can be incredibly lucrative. As an example, TicketBis began in Spain and expanded throughout Latin America, providing a service that is otherwise common in America. They do it better than the competition, and they pull in millions every year as a result.
3. Become a Relative Expert
Have you heard the adage that when being chased by a bear, you don't need to run the fastest; you just need to run faster than the slowest person? In a sense, the same comparison can be used in the business world.
You don't need to be the most knowledgeable; you just need to know more than the average person does.
The idea is to become a relative expert; knowing enough to be an authority amongst those who know nothing of the subject. It's a much smaller intellectual and temporal investment than becoming a true absolute expert.
4. Purge Toxic Customers
The fast food philosophy of the customer is always right has driven more than a few businesses out of business. Too many entrepreneurs spend too much time bending over backwards to please everyone who crosses their path.
This dedication to customer service can be admirable, in moderation. In the extremes, it means a massive amount of lost time and energy on customers who will never be pleased.
The trick is to learn how to identify these toxic customers before they become a persistent problem.
It all stems from the customer sense of entitlement that convinces them that their sale is so important to your business that if you don't please them, you'll lose millions. Virtually no one is that influential. One lost sale will save you the support headache in the end.
5. Take Time Off
Burning yourself out is a very real risk in entrepreneurship. It's tempting to save money by doing the work yourself, to push ahead on your goals by working 18 hour days and all the other signs of working too much.
Sometimes, you need to take a step back and take a day of rest. Let your mind regenerate from the constant on-the-go attitude. When you return with a fresh outlook, you'll be that much better off.
Profit and Love
For some people, a business is just a means to a profitable end. For others, it is a labour of love. Balancing these forces is the key to a successful business, in every sense of the word.
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