1. Find a True and Substantial Need in the Market Place
An important first step in starting and then building your business is finding out what products, services, or ideas your local or global market truly needs. So conduct a market needs assessment. If you don’t identify or establish a true and substantial need to fill in the market place, there will be little or no business opportunity available.
When I was nine I went to my dad and asked if I could earn some money. He told me that all the chores he needed were done, and if I wanted to earn money, I had to go to the neighbors. So I walked door-to-door offering my landscaping services. And as a result, I was able to fulfill many of my neighbors’ needs, earn money, and form and grow a small landscaping company utilizing three teams of my neighborhood friends for assistance. (I am thankful that those pesky child labor laws were not yet as extensive back then.)
So a wise first step is to identify the true needs in the marketplace and then be willing to directly or indirectly fill those needs. If you are unable to directly fulfill those needs with your products, services, or ideas, then consider finding someone who can do it and then broker a deal or refer your future clients. This is the cornerstone of any thriving business.
2. Find What You Love to Do
This one sounds obvious, but so many people work jobs they hate in industries they cant stand. You ideally want to find the service that truly inspires you — that way, you can do what you love, while at the same time, serving others. Thus if you can identify what peoples’ needs are and then find the ones that inspire you the most to fulfill, you’ll have two vital components that can drive a thriving business. These two components are not only empowering and inspiring, but will also give your business a competitive edge.
“When business is not booming it is time to get back to the basics and pulse the true needs of those you desire to serve.”
So take a close look at what really inspires you. Your life demonstrates your highest values daily. If you can evaluate what makes you happy, you will be spontaneously inspired from within to fulfill what is truly important.
3. Identify the Highest Priority Actions That Will Help You Fulfill You and Your Potential Customer’s Needs
Make sure that you and everyone else in your company are working on top priority actions and delegating low priority actions to take advantage of Ricardo’s Law of competitive advantage. These are your highest priority actions in sales, marketing, advertising, managing, research and development, and so forth. In fact, when you analyze all functions or departments of your company, these are the 25% that gets you 75% of your results. If you are doing these key actions with precision and inspiration, you are going to increase your business potential and profit margin. The key is doing top performance on top priorities, or majoring in majors and minoring in minors. That does not mean overlooking the small details. It simply means doing the details that truly count.
4. Delegate Low Priority Actions or Responsibilities
Make sure that you are sourcing and hiring qualified people to do the important things that you are not qualified, perfectly designed, or inspired to do. By delegating your lower-priority actions (which are actually higher priority actions to those you delegate to), you can extract surplus value out of their labor services and free yourself up to do what you do what is most inspiring (and your highest priorities). By allowing others to specialize in what they love doing and surrounding yourself with those more talented than you in their respective specialties, you accelerate your competitive advantages in the marketplace.
5. Structure Your Business in Such a Way That It Maximizes Its Profits
It is wise to reduce any redundancies, so make sure you are not doing actions that are superfluous or unnecessary, and make sure you are doing things most effectively and efficiently. Look closely for areas where you can streamline procedures, simplify processes, standardize duplicated efforts, and reward more effective or efficient innovations.
If you are not working on your business, you will be stuck working in your business. Every day ask yourself the following six quality questions: What worked and what didn’t work today? How can I do what I do more effectively and efficiently tomorrow? What can I streamline? What can I standardize? What can I simplify? What proven action steps can I add to my daily checklist today so I don’t have to occupy or distract my brain with it tomorrow? Don’t leave the office until you have answered these six questions. The quality of the company you build will be based upon the quality of the questions you ask yourself, your executives, and your team members.
6. Put Energy into Innovation and Research
It is essential to put time, energy and resources into innovation and research. Keep your eyes open for new opportunities to refine, and present to your teams and clients, your products, services, and ideas. This will help you keep up with the ever-changing market, and because of your frontiers of research and innovation, you will draw more expanding and empowering opportunities to your company and continue to lead the way. It is easier to see the vision if you are out front than it is if you are walking behind. Be the greatest at what you do and lead the way: Grab your market share.
7. Communicate Your Product, Services, or Ideas in the Values and Needs of Your Employees and Clients
When you are inspiring your work teams with your vision and delegating their responsibilities, make sure that you are communicating to them within their individual highest values. Nobody goes to work for the sake of work; they go to work to fulfill their highest values. If you effectively communicate the vision of your company and all job duties, delegations, and projects, your employees will become inspired by what they have the opportunity to do and produce more in less time.
If your team members cannot see how what they do will help them fulfill their highest aspirations, they will end up adding to your overhead and will ask for more raises, want more time off, have more sick days, and expect more perks due to their lessened enthusiasm. When team members are grateful for their career, love what they are doing, are inspired by the vision of the company, and are enthusiastically working, your company is going to build momentum, go to new places, and your profits will soar.
This same principle of communicating your team members’ responsibilities in terms of their highest values also does wonders for your clients and customers during the sales process. Make sure you are effectively communicating within your clients’ highest values and needs with your marketing, advertising and sales literature and scripts. Not only do you need to discover what is most important to them (their dominant buying motives), but you constantly have to keep what these motives are at the forefront, as they change, and continuously get feedback from them to assist you in forever filling their evolving needs.
8. Save a Portion of Your Profits and Build Cushions of Liquidity
This is a big one. It is wise to save an ever-progressive portion of your profits. When you have a great cushion of liquidity, you automatically have more stability, end up with higher-quality clients, attract more business-building opportunities, and transform any potential frustration or desperation into inspiration. You’ll be inspired to select the highest-quality brand-building clients when you are flush with cash. Obviously once you have this large cushion of cash it is wise to then invest. But remember, before you invest, before you speculate, save. Some of the wealthiest individuals and companies have large cushions of cash liquidity in reserve for the great business and investment opportunities that periodically emerge. Have enough liquidity to let no emotional distraction or market fluctuation alter you from your mission of providing and expanding your quality of local or global service.
9. Invest a Portion of Your Money and Make Sure Your Money Is Working for You and You Are Not Working for Your Money
Once you have enough cash liquidity to sustain even the most extreme volatilities in your business cycle, then continue to build ever-greater cushions of ever-more-wisely-selected, quantitativelyvalued- yet-leveraged investments to super-stabilize your primary business so it becomes a greater financial magnet. The more money you accumulate and masterfully invest into businesses, the more business opportunities and service-rewarded profits and money will come to your primary business. Money flows where money goes. When you manage money wisely, you receive more money to manage. It’s that simple. Your hierarchy of values dictates your financial destiny. When you are truly dedicated to refining your business procedures so as to maximize your services and profits, you will reap the economic rewards.
10. Make Sure You Expand Your Business Vision
You will grow to the level of your vision. If you are not expanding your vision regularly, you will plateau your business and its service and wealth potential. The leader with the greatest vision, greatest clarity, and greatest certainty will give rise to the greatest business.
“If you are not working on your business, you will be stuck working in your business.”
As you grow, your business and accumulate accolades of service and cushions of wealth, you will have an ever-greater social and ecological responsibility for expanding your cause. Those with a vision flourish. Those with a greater cause to serve, touch the world and leave their business legacy for generations to come. Challenge yourself to be greater.