The magician never reveals his trick. However, there is no meeting of entrepreneurs where the speaker is not confronted with this question: how did he succeed, what is the magic formula for success? And the answers are as scattered as the human being: talent, effort, opportunity, luck, commitment, brilliant idea, concurrence of factors, people, experience of the management team, market need, innovation, etc., etc. The truth, the whole truth is that there are ingredients for that recipe of success. The important thing is the relation of quantities in each moment and the hand of the cook. Let’s see it.
The path to business success is rarely simple. Let’s take the case of a young technological start-up, that having been the product of a brilliant idea of one or more partners, probably fellow students at the university, the successful product that has conquered the market is the consequence of a great deal of hard work, well executed and sustained over a long period of time.
Although the success of start-ups is generally produced by their intrinsic characteristic in a relatively short period of time, there are many man-hours involved and surely also a number of previous failures, failed attempts and capitalized mistakes. that have been corrected in time and only recently redirected to the path of success. But always with a dose of work that cannot really be measured, because in short, it could be considered uneconomic because of the amount of hours and allocation of resources applied in relation to the results obtained in the first years of life of a company, even if it is well directed towards good results.
Learning the business
If you work for an important organization that is a reference in the sector, in case you are thinking of starting a business activity soon with other partners, all you can learn from the sector in which you are currently working, will always be little compared to what you have to know and master in order to compete with dignity in the market.
You have to take the time to learn not only what the main role and responsibilities will be, but also to gain a broader understanding of the business: the competitive environment, market forces, what is the added value that the company gives to its customers, etc.
Nobody becomes an expert in all these fields, but at least having a clear understanding of the work and the key issues at the macro level is always useful.
When the time comes to undertake
Once you open up to the category of entrepreneur you must become an indispensable person for your staff. You have to take the time to understand and comprehend what your bosses and staff really need. Not only what is needed from your current role as a leader, but to make an in-depth analysis of what are the issues of concern, whether they are operational with customers, or issues related to problems in interpersonal relationships, especially if there are potential conflicts at the door and a host of situations that can take away the sleep of even the most experienced of business leaders.
Try to see things through the eyes of others. The more substantive assistance you can provide and the more gaps you can fill, the more valuable your input and presence will be to an organization.
Solutions or problems
As it is colloquially said that if “instead of being part of the problem you are part of the solution”, then you have already travelled an important part of the way. The usual state of affairs that an organization goes through is too complex and it is necessary to react quickly, so that something can be done with guarantees in response to the problems or challenges that are put forward. Sometimes little can be done in a short space of time, but much can be sown for longer periods of time when the sustainability of the company is supposed to be combined.
When struggling with difficult problems in your own area, naturally you cannot always solve all the problems posed by others, such as those that you must solve as a leader. But it can certainly be worth the extra time spent by staff to be able to solve together on the basis of a range of viable options, which should include not only the solution recommended by the leader, but making it compatible with the suggested solution of one or more people. For example, by a team leader or department manager, so that there is a real interest in the implementation of actions arising from employees, so that they feel that theirs is an effective contribution and that it clearly accelerates the commitment between all parties.
This approach demonstrates the leader’s abilities to apply critical thinking and can be a highly valued time-saver especially when people in the roles where a problem has occurred do not have a minute to spare given the number of issues to be resolved each day.
Employee engagement a priority
Working for an organization that makes employee commitment and recognition a priority is one of the best learnings, whether you are going to be in a leadership position in the immediate future or not.
Many companies talk about how much they value their staff, however, when looking at actions there is always a gap between words and deeds. Precisely the function of an effective leader is to reduce the gap between what happens and what is considered to happen, which makes the most of time to avoid situations in which words prevail and not results. However, when this is achieved, effective leaders encourage employees to set and achieve ambitious goals.
Personal and professional development then derives from being inspired and motivated by their leader, not only to do a better job, but because they are being shown the path to success that goes far beyond the specific role of each person, even if they are shown their significant contribution to that path of good achievements and goals.
And a corporate culture that actively partners with employees to help them grow provides an ideal environment for cultivating a budding career. There is never enough time spent with staff to show them that management is very interested in each and every person.
Such environments make it easier for creative people to bring out their talents and share experiences and new perspectives for development. This is a consequence of their own actions together with the stimulus and motivation that the leader has been applying little by little, creating that special bond that everything is possible and of credibility that makes the staff confident that they are on the right track.
How to succeed in your own business
There is no clear formula for good results that will turn a person into a successful businessman. If there were one, we would never hear stories of business failure. But if we look at the history of all successful business organizations, we will find close similarities in their methods of operation in the years of training, formation, coaching and acquisition of the first experiences in decision making and implementation of actions.
Learn to anticipate and recognize changes in your business
Effective leaders always have a principle of action that is common to business success: never relax. Businesses are like a living being, in which they are continuously growing at a certain stage of their lives, but once they reach maturity, it is undeniable that either they stay in shape physically and mentally, or old age will be near as well as the disappearance of the market.
Sometimes it is hard to realize, but fundamental changes occur in business and can be good or bad. Businesses can also change because their customers develop different needs or because they start selling to a different type of customer or because a new competitor enters the market. There are thousands of reasons that impact on the root of change.
The sooner you understand the reasons why a business changes, the better the chances of survival in the immediate future and the more the project can be consolidated as something sustainable and real in the medium and long term. It is important to recognize the changes and see how they will affect them. Observing those that have already taken place in the market, both in our direct competition and in that which is not, because in today’s digital world, response and adaptation times have been cut by no less than one hundred and fifty percent. In sectors of very high technology and innovation, there are situations in which it is easy to talk about changes in responses of 600%.
The critical mass
The critical mass in a viable business is all that value it has in the present, which has survived a crisis, for example if it is at least seven years old, or what market situation (positioning and share) it will reach with that essential value we know the company has.
For example, a special client portfolio, which makes it different. But in short, one of the key keys is the cash flow that the company has to face the current commitments and to establish the basis of its future growth.
Once the correlation between cash flow, sales and some other factor is established, the critical mass can be determined very easily. This flow makes the business self-sustaining and we could translate this figure into average monthly sales, and then calculate the size of the customer base needed to produce those sales, which is their critical mass.
When this balance of power is produced harmoniously, there is no doubt that success is guaranteed.