The planning and pre-launch phase can be considered the most daunting and challenging phase of setting up a company. At this point, you will most likely be facing numerous types of issues and challenges that might cause you to lose drive and motivation to continue your new venture.
To help increase your confidence level, we are here to equip you with five valuable business lessons from seasoned entrepreneurs and professionals who have fought their own battles and emerged victoriously.
1. Make an effort to know your customers well.
This is a very important business principle yet it is often overlooked. The roster of products and services that your business can offer is valuable but what’s more important is to ensure that these will address the needs of your primary target market. There are instances where an entrepreneur diverts all his time and energy on his product or service and tends to forget that meeting customers’ needs should be the priority.
Another common pitfall for entrepreneurs who are in the process of defining their target market is being too general. Seasoned entrepreneurs and scholars both agree that a business that makes everyone its audience eventually makes nobody its audience.
Going beyond the usual consumer demographics will allow you to understand their behavior and mindset, thereby making it easier to provide products and services that exceed expectation.
2. Look at customer complaints on a different light.
While customer complaints are usually regarded as a form of negative feedback, a change in perspective can help you put customer complaints to good use.
One way to look at it is thinking that the customer who complained about your product or service had the choice to simply let it go and do business with any of your competitors. Getting feedback, whether positive or negative, means that the consumer is giving your company a chance to improve your product offering and regain their vote of approval.
Moreover, complaints can help you determine loopholes or any small details that you might have missed. Simply put, it’s like having a fresh pair of eyes to examine your product.
3. Invest in building a great team.
No man is an island. Forming a team that can help you realize your business goals is essential. In choosing the members of your team, remember to look past grade-point averages and other measurable attributes. Instead, consider looking at an individual’s core values and what business experts regard as “soft skills”.
Soft skills are comprised of intangible qualities such as flexibility, communication skills, cooperativeness, and the likes. Unlike job functions and objective concepts that can be learned in as short as three months, work ethics cannot be taught that quickly and easily.
As an entrepreneur, you must keep in mind that business knowledge can be passed on, but an individual’s set of beliefs and values cannot be easily modified to fit your vision.
4. Muster the courage to take calculated risks.
Setting up a business will constantly entail instances where you will be pushed to make a decision that can either make or break your venture. Decision-making and risk-taking without considering the pros and cons of each option is a reckless move to make. More often than not, taking calculated and well-considered risks can reap the biggest rewards.
In business, having the guts to take calculated risks can greatly increase a company’s chance to succeed. Regardless of the outcome, a good businessman must be able to learn how to make high-risk decisions at the right time as risk-taking eventually boosts success and confidence.
5. Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard.
This is a very powerful statement, especially when put in the context of running a business. Having talent and sufficient knowledge indeed plays a role of paramount importance in business. However, talent without action will not lead a company towards success.
In the long run, hard work always trumps talent. Being talented is not enough to make a business successful unless this talent is put into good use by taking action.
When it comes to business, there isn’t any paved road that an individual could readily take. Each entrepreneur will have different types of experiences and will have to work their way from there. However, if you are interested in starting a business in Singapore or anywhere in the world, you will surely be off to a good start with these valuable lessons in mind.