For some entrepreneurs, things seem to fall into place on their rise to financial success, observes Jayson Demers, writing for Entrepreneur.com.
However, in spite of appearances, their success is not down to luck but rather an understanding of the importance of learning, adapting and growing, says the author.
According to Demers, entrepreneurs must learn the following ten lessons in order to build a healthy business that’s sustainable in the long term.
1) The customer is not always right. This might go against the famous old adage but Demers insists that bending over backwards to please every single customer even when they’re “clearly and painfully” wrong can do a disservice to the company and employees.
“Give your customers the benefit of the doubt, but not at the expense of your (or your employees’) dignity,” he comments.
2) Time is money. Your time is more limited than your money, customers and ideas because you can’t gain more of it.
Demers suggests you make the most of your time by assigning an “hourly dollar amount” to the tasks your perform.
Consider a fair wage for the tasks you carry out and if you can delegate them for less money, then do so.
3) Not all money is good money. Although you might be tempted to take money from anyone who offers it when you’re building your business, the author recommends avoiding clients who take up too much time, have unrealistic expectations or are unpleasant to work with.
4) There are no marketing shortcuts. You might think inexpensive marketing will save you money but it will just make your brand look cheap.
5) Outsource when you can. This is especially important if you don’t have in-house staff to help you out.
6) Build your personal brand along with your company brand. This will help you differentiate from your competitors and also give your company credibility.
7) Life is too short to hate work. Demers says: “When you’re passionate about what you do, and when you focus on happiness (both your own and that of your employees), work... becomes infinitely more enjoyable and meaningful, and significantly reduces your chances of experiencing burnout.”
8) Hire people who are better than you. Focus on your strengths and allow your employees to do the same.
9) Your own best practice is what counts. Demers warns against getting caught up in what others tell you is the best way to do something. When it comes to your customers, you know best.
10) Action is more important than planning. It’s essential to plan and strategise, but there’s a point where you just need to get on with it. It’s better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly.