“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” — Benjamin Franklin
Among the top keys to business success is the power of persistence…to never give up. A company can grow and thrive only if they are capable of enduring failures, learning from mistakes and overcoming obstacles but most of all by leveraging a “never quit” attitude.
Although the exact number of tries has been debated, ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 attempts, Thomas Edison could have easily given up on his experiment but because he successfully created the lightbulb. His response to his repeated failures? “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
In the same way the Colorado river cut through a mountain of rock to form the Grand Canyon, you’ve got to carve a path to through thick and thin to find your way to profitability and success. Overcoming adversity and the challenges in front of you is hard work which requires a positive attitude and a long range perspective. Many people simply can’t handle the stress which comes with failure or self-inflicted mistakes. Its common knowledge that most new businesses fail. In fact, according to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn.
Running a business, no matter what size, isn’t easy. Embrace the challenge and understand that running your own business entails a host of risks that all fall on the shoulders of the entrepreneur. Here’s a few suggestions on how to keep your business alive and competitive.
Learn from your Failures.
Life and business is filled with mistakes and failures. The true test of a person’s character is how you handle these difficulties. Embrace failure as a learning tool. Don’t waste it on pity. Face your failures and mistakes with a future-focus so you won’t repeat them again!
Simon Cowell started a record company which quickly made a million dollars and then lost a million dollars. Cowell told The Daily Mail in 2012, “‘I’ve had many failures. The biggest were at times when I believed my own hype. I’d had smaller failures, signing bands that didn’t work, but my record company going bust, that was the first big one.” Even after such a momentous loss, Cowell picked himself up and became one of the biggest forces in reality television, serving as a judge for “Pop Idol,” “The X Factor,” “Britain’s Got Talent” and “American Idol.” Forbes has estimated his net worth at $95 million.
Understand your Market.
Knowing the needs of your target market is critical to success. What do they like, what do they need and how can you address those needs with your products or services? You have to find an opening or unmet need within a market and then fill it rather than try and force your product or service in. Deliver a value proposition in terms of products or services that generate excitement and interest in your company’s offerings. You absolutely have to understand who your competition is and how to capitalize and best position your company to your best advantage. Bigger competitors may be less responsive to changing trends or more insensitive to their customer’s concerns. If you’re a smaller, faster moving company with some new ideas and solutions – you may be able to win. Make sure you stay abreast of trends in your industry and locality and if possible, jump on them.
Lack of Customer Awareness either from having a bad location of a “brick and mortar” store or having problems with your website. If your website isn’t “mobile-friendly”, easy to navigate and generate interest you’re probably losing customers. Be competitive with your digital marketing strategy. If you want to be successful, don’t play around with the DIY website builders…they’re junk. Notice, your big (and successful) competitors probably have a top notch website with excellent SEO characteristics. That doesn’t happen by magic…it takes hard work, time and money, so be prepared to invest in tools like your website and even advertising to promote your company and gain the customer awareness neccessary to drive revenue.
Understand that change is coming your way no matter what. Keep your eyes on trends and on your customer’s changing tastes and be ready to adapt. Try to think outside of the box. When you see change coming try to figure out how to ride the wave…not be drowned by it. Listen to your clients and your team and try to implement new ideas and newer processes in place to streamline your workflow and ALWAYS keep your eyes on your clients and how you can HELP them! In fact, bend over backwards to be helpful. If you’re not willing to do that…you’ll be out of business before you know what hit you.
Its worth repeating! Keep your head down, work hard, be smart, be excited about what you do, accept failure as a valuable learning opportunity, don’t give up and be persistent!
If you’re ready to take your business to new heights and want to partner with a digital media company that understands the bigger picture of business AND can deliver websites, marketing consulting, SEO, photography and video…we invite you to contact Cymax Media today!