Back to Basics – Business Lessons to keep you on track

 

Business is tough. We operate in a highly competitive world and one that creates a huge number of challenges for business owners on an ongoing basis. The hard part is not to get broken down by these challenges, but to remember to always focus on some key basic principles that will re-focus your energy, remind you why you did this in the first place and help you to keep your head down no matter what.

 

1. No dream is too big

There is a famous quote credited to Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” This quote embodies the premise that innovation and imagination are the keys to the success of a business.

If you think you have a great idea or a better way to do something, you should do it. With some imagination and innovative thinking, you may find your competition trying to keep up with you.

 

2. Hard work will always outweigh talent

Hard work outweighs talent and intelligence and is necessary if you want to succeed. This not only means working hard when things are going well, but working harder when things are not. It means taking calculated risks and sticking to them, no matter how challenging they are.

 

3. Do the basics well

Most entrepreneurs are both hard working business owners and visionaries. They are the ones taking risks and creating new products and services that benefit our world. As much as it seems glamorous to work on the best new thing, most of the success in one’s business comes from the incremental improvements and the consistency in repeatable tasks.

These daily concepts aren’t the sexiest topics for someone at the top, but they are essential. This means knowledge of everything from individual customer service calls to participation in regular meet-ups with department heads. The more you are aware of how your business is doing every single day, the more successful you will be (and the happier your customers). Interacting with your customer and your staff is key, many of these interactions with clients and staff that are at the coalface of your business may result in innovations and ideas that will make life easier for the customer.

One thing to keep in mind is that you have to create repeatable processes. You may not come up with a new way of doing something or a new product every day (or maybe even every year) but you will still be serving your customers on a daily basis. What matters most is to take seriously your daily activities and interactions with your customers.

 

4. Track everything

Entrepreneurs are known for their strokes of genius at any moment day or night. From coming up with an idea for a new marketing initiative, to a hot concept for a sales contest (that must start tomorrow), to an innovative way to retain customers, it can be really exciting to start programs, but none of these matter unless you track your progress.

Everything in your business comes down to the numbers. What you don’t track will not improve, period. Try to track the daily, weekly and monthly performance of each of your departments and it will make all the difference.

 

5. Culture and people matter

The quality of your team has a direct impact on the satisfaction of your customers. The best way to develop a top-notch team is to focus on hiring. The more time you spend searching for and vetting the most motivated and driven individuals to join your “family” the better. This dedication will directly feed into your company’s culture. Any company that understands that people are their most valuable asset and the key to their success will have a better chance to succeed. Don’t forget, technology and processes do not run a company, people do. Appreciation for your employees will certainly positively impact your culture.

It is hugely important to create an environment that allows employees to thrive and do their best on behalf of your customers. Just some ways of nurturing this philosophy in practice are to provide such perks as complementary food and fun events that make the company feel more like a family. Perks like these won’t be the reason that employees stay, but in combination with being engaged in what they do, being further developed and being offered solid paths for their careers, they are likely to be happier in your business than they would anywhere else.

 

6. Don’t obsess over your competition

It can be tempting to focus on your competition with a nearly obsessive eye. What are they doing? How are they being more innovative? How did they acquire that customer?

This just isn’t the way to go. Of course you should pay attention to your competitors, but never to the detriment of meaningful internal projects. Focus on raising the expectations for your customers so they will have no better place to go. Good advice would be to keep the competition in the back of your mind, but always to put more energy focus on your own company and how you can make it the best it can be.

 

7. Failing is encouraged

While this may seem counterintuitive, failure (in the right context) can be helpful. Creating a culture that allows hard-working, innovative employees to fail from time to time is incredibly important for a company’s success. When someone knows that they will not be reprimanded for an attempt to make a process better or an idea grow, they are more likely to try. This creates a culture of innovation within an office.

 

8. Show Respect to others and love to your friends and family

No matter where you go in the world, you will find that all people share one similar trait: they all want to be loved. Respect every person you meet, no matter who they are or what type of status they hold. As for your friends and family, love them unconditionally, and never forget about them no matter how busy you are.

 

9. Nothing is important as your health

Never sacrifice your health for anything, not even success. Nothing is as important as your health and nothing ever will be.
No matter what journey you take in life or where your professional goals take you, there are certain business and life lessons that you can always apply to your own path. It doesn’t matter where you came from or where you are going, check in on these nine things from time to time and you are sure to be a success.

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Where a party receives any personal information (“PI”) related to the other party, the party who receives the PI, will comply with and have adequate measures in place to ensure that its employees, agents, subsidiaries and representatives comply with the provisions and obligations contained in the Protection of Personal Information Act, No. 4 of 2013. Any PI pertaining to one party which is required by the other party, will only be used by that other party for the purposes of this contract and will not be further processed or disclosed without the written consent of the latter and the recipient of that PI will take all reasonable precautions to preserve the integrity and prevent any corruption or loss, damage or destruction of the PI. If and when the contract is terminated, each party will, save to the extent that it is required to do otherwise by any applicable law, erase or cause to be erased, all PI and all copies of any part of the PI relating to the other party”.