HOW TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL SMALL SCALE BUSINESS
People do start their own businesses because of wealth accumulation, freedom, self-esteem, passion or interest, fun and host of others. However, a would-be entrepreneur is faced with several challenges such as peer & family pressure, the business risk element, fear of failure, opportunity cost such as forgone salary, time, pleasure, etc.
An entrepreneur must be self-motivated and he must analyze opportunities with utmost caution. These facts and presumed assumptions plus the situation of the Nigerian economy with respect to her massive unemployment, underemployment, contract staffing and my wealth of experience as business manager are the basic reasons behind this topic and for the fact that it employs a sizeable number of people…, its contribution to the country’s GDP … and most importantly the high level of trust people accord to small business firms owners because of the closeness and accessibility.
However, to cross this thin line successfully, certain skill set is needed.
SKILLS NEEDED TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS
a. Industry Analysis: A strategic business manager seeking to develop an edge over rival firms should use or develop a certain model to understand his industry so as to ensure continuous success. Michael E. porter five forces of industry analysis will be helpful in this regard.
b. Efficient and effective operation: The business manager must ensure result oriented techniques in the day to day running of the business using the right methods.
c. Consistently increasing profit: The primary motive of every business is wealth maximization. Hence, consistent increase in profit is a key factor for any successful business.
d. Sustainable growth: A company might not be at break-even yet but the business manager must ensure a sustainable growth.
e. Innovation: Innovation is a key component in the face of competitive rivalry and towards adding value to people’s life be it in terms of product or service.
SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS TOOLKIT
Employees: One of the biggest challenges an entrepreneur has in running a successful business is to hire the right people for key positions. Employees definitely contribute to a successful business through innovation and they might be frustrating sometimes. Hence, you need to make them happy so that they can be productive and enthusiastic about their job which in turn leads to employee engagement i.e. willingness to help the business grow. It is a general axiom that “hiring good employees is important in any business”. However, you must acclimate them to your style of business to get the best out of them, providing the right tools, materials, technology and opportunity for personal growth will help to unleash their full potentials.
Structure: The business manager must understand and emphasis the rules of the game with clear and complete job description; policies and procedures; expectation base on result; measurement techniques, etc. An effective organizational structure allows you to control business processes, assign accountability, enable rapid responses to opportunities and threats, deliver on promises, empower employees to make decisions and beat out the competition.
Capital: Having the required investment fund is also a key element towards running a successful business. Try to explore all the available means to raise enough capital to finance your business, vis-à-vis retained earnings, borrowing, share capital (private or public), pre-order deposit, etc.
Marketing: Any company that wishes to sell a product or service needs to reach out to their potential customers, and proper marketing efforts must be continuous in order to be effective. Business professors often explain that marketing to a client should be compared to hitting a target with a rifle, and companies must avoid using a shotgun approach to try and hit the same target. Precise advertisements that deliver the right message to the right consumer are going to help lead to success. Prospects should be qualified and should actually possess a legitimate interest in learning more about a product or service. The goal of most marketing attempts should be to create leads for a sales force.
Leadership: Get out there, listen to people, draw people out and learn from them. As a leader you’ve also got to be extremely good at praising people. Never openly criticize people; never lose your temper, and always lavish praise on your colleagues for a job well done
Evaluation & Controls: Going back and forth to ensure established principles and procedures are followed and to measure the company performance compared to its stated goals and objectives form a solid foundation towards running a successful business.
Continuous Improvement: After evaluation, there is always room for improvement. This is also attested to, by the common axiom “Problem identification is half solved”
WHAT DO YOU GET IN RETURN?
Valuable and engaged employees, strong and supportive client relationship (buyers & suppliers), community acceptance, and thereby you become a fan of a successful business.