Technology changes, but the Art of Business doesn’t. Methodologies come into and out of fashion, and get expressed in different ways, but the fundamentals of success are always the same. My “Top Three” were instilled in me by one of my first employers when I was in my early twenties – and since then, I’ve validated them by reverse observation – the entrepreneurs behind every small business failure that I’ve personally witnessed since then have failed on at least two of these points.
This doesn’t necessarily mean working 7 days every week, but it does mean at least thinking work every day. It’s essential to always be available – pick up every call, and answer every email, whether it’s day, night or weekend. The best opportunities are often unexpected and come up at crazy times. Unfortunately, there are very few entrepreneurs who are both successful and lucky enough to be able to maintain that aspirational work-life balance.
Plan every day in advance to make at least a little time for everything. If it’s quick, do it now. Never ever let a day pass without doing at least one constructive thing to generate new sales. Insist on quality but don’t aim for perfection – assign sufficient time to do each task well, but don’t keep polishing. Don’t end up skimping on the next task – it could be the one that makes your fortune.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll spend a lot of your time selling. Potential customers don’t like hard sells and they particularly hate exaggerated claims. You’re human and your product or service isn’t perfect – admit it. Just aim to be the best person you can, managing the best company you can establish, selling the best product your company can make – and remember to ask everyone, especially every customer, how you could improve.
by Oliver Dowson, CEO at ICC – International Corporate Creations