In our last editorial, we discussed some essentials insights entrepreneurs need for sustaining their businesses. We’ll continue to look at other key strategies for sustaining all kinds of businesses.
BUILD A STRUCTURE AND RESTRUCTURE WHEN NECESSARY
The framework of every business that determines its longevity is the business structure. In as much as business plans, finance, customers etc. are important, they all hang on the collar of the business structure.
The structure of a business is so imperative because it determines the nature of the business (sole proprietorship, partnership, etc). It defines the daily operations and organization of the business, as well as job description of staff in the enterprise. In addition, you must know what kind business you are building and make it structured as possible.
Therefore, as your business grows, look out for areas where restructuring is needed. Similarly, be observant to grey areas in your business and fix them even if it entails employing more staff, rebranding your products or services, consult expert advice, hiring consultants, or even having a better physical structure.
- INVEST AND REINVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS
One of the many goals you must have as an entrepreneur is to continue investing in your business. Investment is done for you to have returns (profits). By investing, I do not mean money here, though money is a key resource to invest in your business. Other important ways of investing into your business include:
- Investing in yourself: You are the visionary, initiator and leader of the business. In other words, you drive the business; invariably, you are your business!! You can’t give what you don’t have. Therefore, develop yourself, have an adept knowledge of your business. Build your leadership and managerial skills, enroll in business schools, take online courses, read books and channel the knowledge acquired into developing your business and leadership skills. You must understand that investing in yourself is investing in your business.
- Investing in your employees: Employees, whether full time or part time are the body and extension of your business. You can’t build your enterprise alone, you need quality deliveries from your employees. Therefore, engage them in the business goals, make them feel appreciated, ask for their advice, promote their creativity. More so, provide the necessary tools to improve their productivity, encourage them financially, give them incentives and adequately train them.
- Investing in your customers: Your customers are the pithof your business; every business exists because there are customers to sell to. Customer-centric businesses are likely to keep surviving against hurdles. You invest in your customers to win their loyalty; the more of them you have, the better the longevity of your business. Therefore to invest in your customers, do the following:
- Improve your customer service; build good relationship with them. Create an homely environment for them. Make your enterprise personal (haven) for them.
- Get constant feed backs from them; you must realize that not every customer will be happy with your products or services. Make them know that their opinions count
- Reward your customers; give discount sales and charges, do promos, give free gifts and vouchers, coupons,etc. depending on your kind of business.
IMBIBE FINANCIAL DISCIPLINE AS A CULTURE
The aim of every entrepreneur is to make profit hence financial success is very sweet. I am sure you have heard stories of many successful businesses that yielded lots of profit, but suddenly, lost everything within the twinkle of the eyes. Money is often referred to as currency because like a current, it flows. However, the direction it would flow is determined by how well you maximize or mismanage it. Hence, cultivating the culture of financial discipline is important to sustaining your business.
- Have a good financial education, know how to make financial plans and budgets, learn how to recycle your money to build wealth and invest wisely.You must have a good saving culture.
- Hire a financial analyst/Adviser if need be. Employ internal auditors and consult external auditors. Seek expert advice on financial matters.
- Find a way to reduce cost, cut unnecessary expenses. Know the difference between wants and needs; Spend on what you need and maximize your available resources
- Avoid debt like you would prevent an incurable disease; reduce the amount of loans acquired. Pay debts and loans as quickly as possible. Be wary of credit means of payment’.
- Have financial documents and organize them properly; record all financial transactions. Once financial discipline becomes your way of life, you will still enjoy your dividends, live a good life and at the same time keep sustaining your business.
Conclusively, remember that success is a journey and you need consistency to achieve it.