When you’re building a business, you need to start with the basics. Focusing on three pillars that give any business a good chance for success not only helps you set up a business for the long term, it also gives you a structure to work to, that guides your decision making when the right course of action isn’t clear.
Today we’re looking at just what those pillars are, and how you can build a business on them.
Making a decisions based on your gut instincts or experience to date feels good as long as it works, and it works only as long as you stay on the beaten path. As soon as you need to make a decision that doesn’t easily map onto one you’ve made before, or been talked through by a mentor, you have nothing to base your choices on, nothing for your much vaunted entrepreneurs intuition to feed on.
What you need is to build your business on a firm foundation of data. Using data to make your decisions, to model outcomes before they arise and spot the patterns that foretell disaster and success means you’re never left in the dark when you’re making a choice, from when to launch a product to where to place your ads.
Working with a market research firm is a great way to get you this injection of data and the sooner you establish this connection, the sooner you can weave right into the culture of your business. Click here to find out more.
The people working for and with you are the most important thing about your business: they are your office culture, your most important asset, your greatest weapon. Most importantly, they aren’t you: they don’t have your experience and background, so they bring an entirely different point of view and expertise to your company (aside from the skillset you would see in a CV).
It’s tempting to hire a group that makes you feel comfortable: people like you, who share your worldview and will agree with you. That makes this pillar unsound to build on. You need a diverse array of viewpoints in your business, helping you to anticipate challenges and devise tactics to face them. If you’re not hiring executive level decision makers who can anticipate things you can’t, you’re wasting a high level role in your business.
To be truly successful, your business needs to be able to think about itself and learn from its mistakes (and successes!). If you stumble from project to project, never thinking about why one may have been successful while another failed to find a market, you’re not going to last in the long term.
Make sure you have systems in place that encourage fair, constructive feedback at every level – including yourself! This interweaves your data gathering and the diverse points of view you’ve hired into your business to drive you into a successful future by understanding your past.