Some of the most basic components of business success have not changed over hundreds of years. Others have. For entrepreneurs, the hardest part is deciding when to embrace an old business principle and when to replace it with something new. An entrepreneur who does it well is one poised for success.Below is a list of six keys to success in modern business. Bear in mind that these principles are based on how business works in the 21st century, complete with all its technology, financing, etc. The strategies employed by your father and grandfather might be remarkably different. Those embraced by your children and grandchildren may be different still.
1. Embrace the Step-By-Step Approach
As an entrepreneur, you know the importance of coming up with a solid business plan before you embark on a project. You can make the most of that business plan with a step-by-step approach. In other words, every goal you develop should be accompanied by a series of steps taken to reach that goal.
A step-by-step approach to business is what carries your company from point to point. It needs to be solid enough to account for the current state of your business, yet flexible enough to meet changing needs. You need a willingness to learn and, where necessary, adapt to changing conditions.
2. Stay True to the Vision
Entrepreneurs learn from the earliest stages of their first projects to establish every new opportunity with a vision. A vision tells the entrepreneur where the business is going before it ever starts. Staying true to that vision is critical in a fast-paced world that changes by the day. If you allow your business vision to be altered by every new technology or the latest profound business philosophy, you will find yourself changing directions far too often.
This is not to say that your vision cannot be modified and updated. It can and should be. Rather, it is simply an encouragement to stay true to your company’s original vision unless there is a good and sufficient reason for change.
3. Maintain Your Focus
Maintaining your focus goes hand-in-hand with staying true to your vision. Focus only on those essential requirements necessary for you to achieve it. Do not be distracted by all the opportunities that present themselves but will ultimately distract you from your vision and goals.
4. Establish a Value Metric
You need some sort of data-based metric by which to establish success or failure. Such metrics will vary by industry, so you may have to do some research to determine what is best for your company. The point is that you need some way to measure how your company is doing at any point in time.
5. Embrace the Digital Age
The most competitive businesses in the modern world are those that embrace the digital age. Everything from accounting to payroll can be done online and in the cloud, saving money and increasing efficiency simultaneously. Don’t even think about competing if you are not going digital. From business processes to marketing, we exist in a digital world.
6. Don’t Build to Retire
Far too many entrepreneurs start businesses for the sole purpose of creating retirement wealth. Don’t do it. If you build a business primarily so you can retire, you’ll focus on retirement rather than long-term success. It is better to build a business with the goal of creating a self-sustaining entity that will continue long after you are gone, and then continue to push as hard as you can until the day you retire. If you do not push hard, some other entrepreneur will.