It may not be so obvious that while a large number of businesses are coming up, a substantial number are also dying off. Despite the various economic and social challenges across the economy and the globe, entrepreneurs ought to thrive towards business sustainability and also take conscious measures to ensure the growth of their business. The metrics of business sustainability involves meeting the needs of the society through appropriate products and services.
A business is successful when it interacts with the environment successfully and satisfies its customers on a long-term basis. There is a difference between a company having a sustainability plan and for a business to actually be sustainable and you could also integrate some sustainability measures into your operations if you have no existing one. Here are some strategies to harness in order to build a sustainable business:
- Make an appropriate choice of product and market: Build a product, test it, make some tweaks and ensure the market potential is feasible and profitable. Based on the reviews you get from your customers after using your product and services, make adjustments to ensure you offer the best to your paying customers.
- Ensure resources are adequate to pull through before and after a breakeven: Resources must be adequate to provide the product to meet the needs of the market. Break-even analysis depends on several variables: It could be the Selling Price per Unit of a product or the Total Fixed Costs required to produce the first unit of a product or the Variable Unit costs that vary directly with the production of one additional unit. This could be achieved through an effective budgeting and control system.
- Exercise the capabilities to manage and co-ordinate the use of the available resources and talent to meet your customers’ needs: This could be achieved through the establishment of feasible goals, business strategy and Key Performance Indicators: This would ensure you stay focused on what you what to achieve as a team and as a company. Businesses fail as a result of poor coordination of the internal operations of the organization and inabilities to manage finance properly. Ensure all resources used must be accounted for. Set targets, if it fails change strategies and methods of execution. Also, invest in talent capacity, having in mind that a good business is as good as the employees.
- Innovation: Never let a crisis go to waste. Try as much as much as possible to maximize opportunities within and outside your domain. Embrace diversification and launch a new product. Be aware of opportunities in several areas of the economy and know where to invest. Invest substantial amount of money to develop new products and services, to satisfy new and potential needs of your market. Asides from the quantum of technological change, founders of businesses need to realize that several competitors are likely to enter the market soon. You need to have courses of action to take to be able to meet the challenge of competition. Be well informed of government policies and predict the future, to avoid being cut off from supplies unexpectedly. Always have a plan B and if possible, C. You cannot afford to be complacent. If it requires you and your team to work beyond the stipulated work time, please do and it would be worth it eventually.
- Embrace Partnerships and Collaboration: This to an extent would foster growth for the organization. Be willing to share your ideas with people, network and improve your net worth. Don’t be isolated, try as much as possible to network, if possible, join a community of entrepreneurs to be inspired to achieve more. Co-working facilities like Leadspace, creates an environment to help entrepreneurs and business owners scale. Co-workers at the space are always willing to interact, share ideas and help each other grow.
- Stakeholder engagement: This could be through global outreach and insights, strategy design and implementation, meeting shareholder demand, long term economic growth and a transparent financial result.
- Refine how you keep your customers by having an excellent customer service: Ensure your customers have an exciting experience, as they would act as a good source of referral for your business.
About the Contributor:
Nonyelim Okolie currently serves as the CEO of Leadspace, a chain of coworking spaces launched in 2016 to solve the infrastructure deficit that impedes the growth of businesses. The company, which currently has 3 locations in Lagos, aims to become the largest network of coworking spaces in Africa. She loves helping entrepreneurs identify collaboration and growth opportunities.