The Fox Valley Entrepreneurship Center understands that running a business is rarely easy, that there is always hard work to be done and that it is one of the most exhilarating tasks ever. With all the effort people put into building an organization, they want to make sure they are being as effective as possible. So, here are our top five tips for running a wildly successful business.
- Pace Yourself. It takes time and patience to build a business, develop a loyal customer base and constantly innovate to attract new clients. At times, you rush and rush to accomplish goals in a set timeframe, only to have to wait for results. This is actually a good thing. Why? Because during the time it takes to wait for those results, you can use your momentum to reach another goal. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
- Find the secret sauce. It’s your competitive advantage – what makes your product or service different from anyone else’s. Know what your market wants and give it to them in a way that only you can. That said, be prepared to be copied at some point. This is especially true if your idea is so unique that you are the only one in your niche.
- Build reserves. Always have enough money on hand for the rough spots, because they will happen. This means spending wisely when things are going awesomely well. There are ways to keep costs in control, mostly through paying attention to them. This could be negotiating better prices with vendors or creating more value for your clients. Either way, more money will be coming in to help during lean times.
- Do what you love. This may seem obvious and simple. And it’s very true. If you are doing what you love, you are far more likely to be successful in the long run. For instance, Bill Bowerman was passionate about running and he was constantly trying to make a better running shoe. He made shoes at home that Steve Prefontaine would test for him. Eventually, he came up with a winner. And with Phil Knight, he co-founded Nike. He was successful because he built his business around what he loved.
- Take care of yourself. Many people think of long days jammed with selfless dedication to the business when they think of entrepreneurship. Successful business owners will tell you that yes, you have to put in the work to get the reward. And just as important is taking care of yourself and your family. In order to get the best out of your organization, you have to feel and be at the top of your game. After all, your company’s greatest asset is you.
At the FVEC, we are passionate about helping entrepreneurs at every stage of business ownership, from inception to those who are long established. To find out more about how we help entrepreneurs in the Fox Valley area, read about our process here.