I expect it and I expect it now!
It’s easy to start a business. It’s not so easy to build a business. In 2020 nearly 100,000 new companies were officially formed in the United Kingdom; this does not consider the hundreds of thousands of people that have set up sideline businesses and supplementary income opportunities. This compounding growth is unprecedented and is largely due to a reduction in barriers in starting a company/business, coupled with the significant number of opportunities that we have in most marketplaces today, through the availability of amazing technology, the huge amount of resource and support, access to funding, willing workforces and of course, blissful ignorance!
It is this last point that I want to highlight. A blissful ignorance is the main reason that most businesses are not successful. Success cannot be assumed… it must be created. Ask any successful entrepreneur about their journey, about what it really takes to build a successful and sustainable business; the hours spent, the torment and pressure, the need to stretch capital, to do the seemingly impossible, the tears, the sacrifices in friendships and family, the decisions made, the compromises, the effort, the tenacity, resilience in dealing with workforces, customers and suppliers. There is an endless list of challenges, but there is also equally an endless list of rewards too. The key is to recognise what is really needed to build a company.
I work with many entrepreneurs where I find myself often confounded at the attitude that prevails when it comes to the important things, like selling, marketing, delivering, planning, financing, etc. Too often I see entrepreneurs who are hoping, praying, begging and even imploring their business to be successful, but not knowing why. It’s important for any entrepreneur to recognise that creating a successful business is not a rite of passage; it is not something that just happens. Underneath the facade of the business, there needs to be a rock solid set of foundations; foundations that comprise, quality thinking, strategy, careful research, detailed planning, high quality resources and a talented team with the resolve and determination to go the distance. None of this is created by luck.
If your business does not have a purpose, vision and values, a strategy, a plan, a budget and the very best resources (people, funding, systems, etc.) to deliver your business, then maybe you need to rethink your priorities. Keep it simple and focus on the basics to start with; what do you sell? who do you sell it to? how are you going to sell it? how are you going to fulfill it?
When you’ve got this in place, become a bit more elaborate in your thinking: what else can we sell? how do we sell more? who else wants to buy it? how can we reach them? what can we do differently? where do we want to be in three years? And so on.
For those of you that have studied economics, you’ll be familiar with supply and demand curves. In the market today we have an abundance of supply and a scarcity of demand. Do not make the fatal mistake of thinking “build it and they will come”. That’s not how good businesses are built. Create time to think about your business and the opportunity and devise actionable plans that you can execute on. Of course, if you’re struggling with this, you can always get yourself a coach!!!