Whether you are starting a business or trying to make an established business stronger, you are looking for that bit of inspiration that becomes the light bulb moment in your head. It’s that “Ah-ha!” moment when your business finally clicks in your market niche as all the loose ends and rocky starts begin to fade away due to smarter business decisions that meet your particular industry goals.
Gleaning such sage advice from those entrepreneurs who have already walked the rugged business road can set you on the right path toward success. Here are 8 tips from successful businesses who have already been there, done that, and learned from their mistakes as they want to offer their tips so you can learn and grow your business.
Innovation lies with your customers
Knowing what your competitors are always doing can help your business, but you need to understand who those competitors are and then play the waiting game to see what they are doing. Jeff Bezos, CEO of online retailer Amazon, offers his tips on how to run a more successful business by focusing more on the customers you have, or want to have, to inspire more innovative business success.
Jeff Bezos – CEO of Amazon: “If you are competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.”
Hire people who will fall in love with your company
In this world where hiring the best employees can become fierce, you have to really take a step back and understand what the passions are for the worker. Are they just in it for the money, seeking to make this job a stepping stone in their career, or do they have a driving force to make the business the best that it can become? Steve Jobs has been able to make the tech company Apple a household name due to his hard work and dedication that he wants to see in his employees.
Steve Jobs – CEO of Apple: “When I hire somebody really senior, competence is the ante. They have to be really smart. But the real issue for me is, are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because, if they fall in love with Apple; everything else will take care of itself. They’ll want to do what’s best for Apple, not what’s best for them, what’s best for Steve or anybody else.”
It all comes down to understanding your customers
Customers control everything there is to your business, from loving your products to becoming frustrated with your lagging customer services. Entrepreneurs are starting to listen and understand their customers, allowing them to change the way they do business so they will turn people into a loyal customer base. Senior vice president of Intel’s Data Center Group, Diane Bryant, strives to really know what customers want and need in their lives to help collect the information Intel needs to create the appropriate products and services.
Diane Bryant – SVP of Intel’s Data Center Group: “The better you understand your customer, the higher the probability of success.”
Sometimes you have to take chances to reach success
People can often take the safe road when running their operations that they fall into a rut of never taking chances when the opportunities present themselves. Yet sometimes that risk can lead to greater rewards and a better understanding of the failures of the business world. Mark Zuckerberg took the risks and found exceptional success when co-founding Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg – Co-founder and CEO of Facebook: “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
Learn to see and understand everything about your business.
For new business owners, looking ahead toward the future can oftentimes make them overlook serious and potential risky problems that is currently affecting their business. Restaurateur John Taft made it his business to point out the details that business owners may be overlooking that is holding them back from becoming more successful. His advice to entrepreneurs is to really see everything about your business.
John Taft – Restaurateur and TV host of Bar Rescue: “See every crack, every detail. I learned to really see and not just look at my business.”
Make people like your business and they will become your customers
Likability is a strong motivator for business success and reputation management. When a person loves your business, they will become loyal customers. If they hate your business, they will tell other people as this factor can negatively impact your bottom line. Founder of the real estate brokerage The Corcoran Group, Barbara Corcoran, has this advice for businesses:
Barbara Corcoran – Investor and Founder of The Corcoran Group: “People want to do business with someone they like. If people like you, they’re going to want to do business with you.”
Always listen to feedback from others
Sometimes you can trick yourself into believing everything is fine and dandy with your business all because you focus more on the positive remarks from people you know and trust. Yet a business owner needs to see their business from every angle to make the right improvements. Elon Musk suggests to accept all feedback, even the critical type, to make your business operations stronger.
Elon Musk – CEO of Tesla, CEO of SpaceX and Chairman of SolarCity: “Take as much feedback from as many people as you can about whatever idea you have…seek critical feedback. Ask them what’s wrong. You often have to draw it out in a nuanced way to figure out what’s wrong.”
Don’t let early success blind you about what can happen to the business in the future
Hitting your stride early in your business operations is invigorating and empowering. Yet don’t let that blind you from seeing risks and pitfalls that lie in the path. Perhaps the best tip offered from CEO Bill Gates of Microsoft was that to not allow success to lead to an inflated ego where you become unprepared to face issues that affect your company.
Bill Gates – Co-founder and CEO of Microsoft: “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
Looking for more tips and lessons from business leaders? Check out these 25 lessons learned from top entrepreneurs. Then contact us to learn more about our answering service for small businesses can help you succeed!