Most businesses struggle to thrive due to many reasons. In Zimbabwe, as a business person, you have to contend with loads of hurdles. The operating environment is so challenging that many are scared to start businesses. Generally, there will always be challenges that characterize the business space anywhere you go. Against all odds, others are still afloat and even making it big. It is a given that starting and running a business is no child’s play. Regardless, it would be best if you still pursued your dream of owning a business. You have to know what your business needs to thrive. Let us look at four such needs.
At the centre of all human endeavours are people. For any business venture, there are internal and external people. Internally you have management, staff, shareholders, partners, suppliers, and the like. Externally, you have customers, regulatory authorities, competitors, etc. All these are people whom you must understand how to interact with. In business, you must ensure you choose the right people to work with. You have to establish strategic relationships at varying levels. At the most basic, you must appreciate the tenets of management. This is because a lot of people management is required in running a business. For example, customer relationship management and human resource management are pertinent.
Networking is always underscored as a central component of business success. If you want your business to thrive you must properly manage all the human relationships you encounter. If you do not treat your staff well, you will experience high employee turnover; which reflects badly on your brand image. The same goes for mistreating or mishandling customers or prospects. If you do so they can ruin your brand because of word of mouth. A disgruntled customer or prospect on average tells at least 15 other people. Shareholders or investors can pull out if not handled properly. The bottom line is you need a wide range of people but more importantly, you must manage them well.
I have dealt with the subject of marketing countless times and always will. This is an area you should never get tired of being taught. There is no point in starting a business if you are not ready to market. Marketing is inevitable because it is the gateway to sales. Operating in an environment with cutthroat competition requires lots of effort in marketing you. Nowadays, due to the internet and social media, digital marketing is the in thing. Your business needs it now more than ever before.
Digital marketing entails several areas e.g. social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, affiliate marketing, and several more. You must master these areas and apply them to your business context. You cannot thrive in this day and age if digital marketing is alien to your business. Their lots of resources online to learn and use to grow your business. The traditional marketing channels are necessarily obsolete though; you can still use them.
You need to appreciate the subject of scale or scaling. In simple terms, scaling entails growth or expansion. Scaling a business involves orchestrating an enabling environment for business growth. Scaling seeks for a business to realize more and ever-increasingly consistent revenue. In short, scaling is expanding your business or startup. If you want your business to thrive then scaling is inescapable. You cannot stay where you are and expect to thrive. You have to systematically develop your business brick by brick; level by level. Scaling enables you to distinguish your business from others. It also opens you up to more and bigger business prospects. I did an article on 8 things you must master or get right before thinking about scaling your business. Be sure to check it out because it will enlighten you more.
There is something euphoric about conceiving creative ideas. There is a thrill it brings that can blind you to basking in the idea rather than executing it. This is something that the majority of people in general and in business struggle with. It is worsened by the fear of things not going smoothly, which is almost always bound to happen. Even in Christianity, it is emphasized that the Word of God is not just about listening to it. The Word of God is for doing i.e. work the word or be a doer of the word. This is a universal principle that holds in business as well. When you conceive any creative idea to propel the business forward, execute it. Of course, you do not have to do it haphazardly but the point, execute!
Here is something to ponder upon: someone with a bad idea but excellent execution can outdo someone with a good idea but poor execution. At one point I once highlighted some syndromes that you should be wary of. One of them is the idea syndrome where you get stuck in a cycle of idea generation and zero execution. I have come across quite many few people who do that. They can even always come up with great ideas but that is all they ever do. In business, you cannot make it if you are slow in execution. In this world of stiff competition but a growing trend of the fast following, you will sink if you are slow to execute.
These are the 4 things your business needs to thrive. The right people must be handled well. Marketing is integral, especially digital marketing. You must understand what scaling is and scale your business. Then in all you do, you must seek to execute, fast but strategically. Businesses that thrive have these 4 elements as part of their core business strategy.