1. Success recipe – if there was one. Pick an idea + add user feedback + (if some users find value in the idea) then move on + involve initial users in the development phase + add the trinity of (time, focus and work) and you will most likely create a success story.
Some more things that may need attention and help you create a successful business. Let us get into some details.
2. Talent | You. Focus on honing your leadership skills. Learn to work with teams, how to communicate your vision and enthusiasm to your core team. To motivate your team show some signs of brilliance – it helps. Show them that you are not only a leader by title but also by deed. Lead from the front wherever you can. As a captain of the team – it helps to know your game.
3. Talent |Your team. Find the best talent you can. Better if you attract it, but this stage takes some time to be achieved. Create an idea pool where people can contribute. Reward people with workable ideas. Turn the chosen ideas into products and services. Give idea-generator some stake. At least – credit the person with the find ad give benefits in some way.
Find creative ways to motivate them. Take them out to spa or disc after a marathon hacking session and later when you get your first or first-100 customers. It depends on what stage of business you are in.
When a team-member – who is smarter than you (absolutely possible) – has an idea to help your business – just shut-up and listen. Difficult to do but will help nurture the culture of excellence.
Let them be what they want to be. Give them a chance to show the brilliance. Focus on creating leaders, mavericks and incubate them.
4. Tools: Depending on your pockets – give yourself and your team best tools to work, collaborate and deliver. Give them freedom to express (blogs), excel (training) to shine, and bring the best (brand value, business) for you.
5. Focus. If you are a designer focus on design; if you need more business than you get through word-of-mouth (best way) then team-up with a business development guy. Let him lead on the front and you focus on shipping the best of designs.
It is important to focus more in initial days of business. Not that established businesses do not need focus – read this to explore.
A content company should not jump into solar energy just because it is a booming industry, has a lot of potential and it has some money to invest. As a business leader – you may have spare money – but your attention is limited.
Entrepreneurs have the ability spot opportunity; they can do it in most unlikely of places. Opportunities are unlimited; but your attention and energy is limited. To do you have enough to spend on everything that comes your way? This is the big question. Think about it.
Life is too short to jump from an opportunity to another. Nurture one to some success; and then move on if it makes sense.
6. Consumers. Take time to know your customers. What are their challenges? What are the opportunities? Educate them. Suggest from time to time – the right thing to do. Also work with customers that fit your work style and ethics. This is important for your happiness. If the need be fire some of them. Be professional and give them time to transition. You must do it if it helps you focus on your business better and get you better value for your time. Also understand that if you have only one customer – then do not fire them – unless there are drastic situations. You know better what drastic means for you.
7. Product/Service. What is your product or service? What is the value it delivers to people? Just think about it. Something should be unique about it – product itself or experience of owning it.
Ever thought why more than half a billion – yes that is true – people are on facebook. Because it is a great way of connecting – yes for many; also because it lets you be a part of the crowd. Discussions happen on facebook and if you are not there then chances are that you will be left out. So there is some oomph, some need of having a presence on facebook. Does your product same benefit of being connected, or usefulness or oomph factor. There is more to it but I am sure this gave you a perspective.
8. Buzz. If you have a product, you need to help it stand out from the crowd. This is different from putting in right set of features. It is about building anticipation. Create an invite only pre-view list. A viral launch or a giveaway built around your business. Participate in contests. Mint made its debut at TechCrunch40 in 2007 which it won. 3 years later it was sold to Intuit for USD 170 million.
You do not need to be a start-up to use such opportunities. A product launch within an existing company should also be looked as a start-up. Can you create similar buzz for your product?
9. Reach out. It helps to continue working on creating buzz beyond launch phase. But you need to get the word out on a day to day basis also. Create a value-packed e-newsletter, to stay connected and deliver useful information. Talk to people during industry events; take feedback. Incorporate feedback wherever possible and makes sense. Ask them for permission to send an email and then send it. Ask for a follow-up opportunity during your first discussion and then focus on making the sale. Even if you create the value in your offering it helps to ask for the order.
10. Deliver on the promise. When you create buzz and you reach out in a regular basis – chances are people will buy from you. When they buy make sure to deliver on the promise that you made on your website about the product or service, through email or in person.
11. Review and change. Record user feedback, review and change as the need be.
12. Learn and move ahead. It is ok if you make some mistakes en-route. Learn from them and move on. Try not to make same mistakes again.
When you do all this chances are that you will create a successful business which you and your customers, peers and employees will be proud of.
Is there anything else, you think, we can add to the suggestions above? Which one of the above do you think is most important for success of your business?
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