It’s easy to think that you know best when it comes to growing your business – but the fact is, businesses follow quite well-defined growth paths – and there are experienced people out there who know those paths better than the rest of us…
If you want to take the risk of guesswork out of your growth plans, read the following 6 tips – they’ve come straight from the mouths of some of the most knowledgeable and successful entrepreneurs of our current time – and they’re tips, rules and behaviours that are guaranteed to see you grow…
You might also want to check out this awesome post for some great pointers on starting your own business!
#1 – Richard Branson – “If you strive for perfect, the only thing you’ll achieve is failure”
Richard Branson’s business and leisure exploits are so wide and varied that he’s got more experience than most other rooms full of entrepreneurs – but that’s not because he’s a perfectionist.
In fact, he tells people to move away from trying to get things exactly right if they want their plans to succeed.
Act now, publish today, launch soon, do it this afternoon.
You might think this is reckless – but in fact, it’s the principle of dealing with reality instead of ideal world thinking. For every day that passes where your product or service is still in development, there’s another day that a rival company have under their belt.
Conversely, put your product out to pasture now and you’ll start getting feedback and performance indication by tomorrow – data that’s vital when it comes to assessing you next steps – whether that’s development, product abandonment, upping production – or anything else. Without data that relates to performance you can’t hope to grow – and without action, you can’t get that data.
#2 – Gary Veynerchuk – “Work hard, keep working hard – then when you’re done, work harder again”
Veynerchuk is one of social media’s most recognised entrepreneurs – and he’s there because his work ethic is off the scale.
Most people think you’ve got to have exceptional talent to grow a business – but the truth is actually different. People have great ideas, but are inherently lazy – if we weren’t, we’d all be multi-millionaires. The thing that separates the super-successful from the masses is a LOT of work.
If your business is going to grow, you need to work hard. Get up an hour earlier and you’ve suddenly bought yourself an extra 360 hours growing your business each year – that’s a staggering 10 extra work weeks a year (or 5 if you work as long and hard as Veynerchuk!)
Don’t procrastinate, work to a tight schedule, set yourself big targets and work until they’re achieved. Success isn’t easy.
#3 – Tim Ferris – “Subtract before you begin adding”
Ferris, the author of the highly successful 4-Hour Workweek explains that we need to break free of our ‘more is better’ mindset – and the rule applies in a host of ways for businesses.
Unless you’ve got efficiency perfectly dialled in, you’re wasting your time bringing more people onboard or rolling out more services or products.
So, you might think you’re winning because you need to take another sales person on – but what if you could squeeze your current sales person’s conversion rates so you get double the productivity out of just one person? Better situation, reduced spend – and an astronomical step up when you do take person number 2 on.
Conduct through and strict assessments of every process and look for ways to improve all the time.
#4 – Tony Robbins – “If you fall in love with your product, you’re screwed”
Robbins success is built on making other people successful – so you better believe he’s got some tips on growth that are worth their weight in gold.
His quote about avoiding falling in love with your product is essentially one about objectivity – and the people who are the most objective bunch in the world – your customers.
He suggests you fall in love with your customers and listen intently to what they want. If you become blinkered and nurture the idea that your product is fantastic (even if you’re being told otherwise) – then you’ve lost a crucial part of your business sense.
Remember who’s going to be buying your product – then learn about those people and what they want.
#5 – Warren Buffett – “Surround yourself with good people”
On the surface, Buffett’s idea sounds like the basis for a good party rather than a good business – but actually, the type of people he’s referring to might not be the people you’d end up inviting to a party at all…
By ‘good people’ – he means people who are going to hold you to account and assess your performance. You might be the boss, the company director or the leader of your team, but that doesn’t mean you’re right.
If you can encourage a working climate in which no one is afraid to speak out – no matter how harsh what they say might seem, you’re in a great place for growth.
This idea really stems from the idea that; A. We’re not very objective with our own thoughts, and; B. We have a tendency to think we’re right. If you combine those with a sense that you can’t be challenged, your team might have no option but to let you fly the plane into the mountains when it comes to growth – but they’ll be patting you on the back and agreeing with you all the way.
Do you want nice people? Or do you want effective people? Pick and nurture accordingly.
#6 – Richard Branson – “Keep a notebook, don’t ever lose an idea”
As one of the wealthiest people in the world it’s forgivable that Branson features twice on this list! Branson has commented a number of times that if he had his time again, he would go through all his notebooks and start up all the ideas that he didn’t do first time around.
So, if it’s good enough for Sir Richard Branson, it’s good enough for us mere mortals.
Keep a note book – or many – and in them, record every idea, contact, opportunity or anything else that presents itself on a day to day basis. You brain will not store everything – but a pen and paper does.
Don’t just save the good ideas either – save everything. About to launch a product? Journal about how it goes. Information is power – and when it comes to launching your next product you’ve got a full run down of what happened last time, meaning you can avoid the situation occurring again.