The secret to business success
A couple of months back, I received a call from my friend Michael, a dear friend and a successful entrepreneur. Michael wanted to get some insight into the investments into bitcoin and cryptos. I willfully obliged his invitation to meet him. Right when I entered his room and exchanged greetings, Michael started to enquire about my work. He had known that I had exited 2 of my ventures in the past although with modest success.
Michael is quite a personality. At a very young age, he began his first venture of firecrackers which was wildly successful. Then began selling steel cupboards from companies such as Godrej in India, then ventured into electronics and was quite a successful entrepreneur already. In Dubai, he built his real estate business from scratch which involved warehouses, labor camps, hotel apartments, etc.
With all the success under his belt, he is the most humble personality I have ever known. During the meeting, I asked for the source of his success. And without hesitation, he handed over the formula for his success, a simple picture. Below is the snapshot. I call this, “Michael’s Business Triangle“
Michael goes on to explain:
A business, to be successful, needs 3 main ingredients:
- Value for Money.
Swift and easy, isn’t it?
Secrets to business success; let me explain further:
Cash / Capital:
A business or a venture first and foremost needs capital or cash to run. In a traditional sense, this makes sense. Any entrepreneur would need some kind of cash to start with. This capital must be allocated to the right expenses, and this is a skill. The source of capital could be your savings, bank finance, donations or any other source. It need not be your own money.
However, I slightly differ on this with Michael. In the age of internet and online businesses, you may not need cash to the extent of traditional business such as manufacturing, trading, etc. Imagine blogger…..his assets are his time and writing. The investment is quite minimum to nil. All you need is an internet connection, a laptop, and power. However, this business can not be grown alone to reach a different level. To do that, you would have to employ new staff, have an office, etc. You get it, right?
Many examples could be given of businesses that have failed due to this. Cash is the lifeblood of any for-profit business.
An entrepreneur needs to know the risk and rewards of the venture he is about to begin or running. Other bits of knowledge necessary is knowledge of opportunities and market, knowledge of the competition and your competitive advantage, knowledge of legal aspects, knowledge of hiring the right staff and so on. Without the key ingredient of knowledge, the venture would fail.
Value for Money:
What’s your unfair advantage when compared to your competitor? Is your product or service any different? Would your customer be satisfied with your product/service in all respects? Is your price right, compared to the market? Would the quality of your product deteriorate over time? How is your after-sales service? Is your product, simply ‘value for money’ to your customers?
As an entrepreneur, you must think about all these aspects and be ready with your responses. This is a difference between, success and ultra success. Are you aiming for ultra success?
Well, is this all enough?
There is more to success!! Inside the triangle you would see:
#Hard work / Smart work
What ‘Michael’s Business Triangle’ educates is the fundamental reason for success in a venture. If you had a look at the successful businesses around you, you’d find most of them meet the above criteria. If any of the ingredients are missing, the business would most likely not survive in the long term.
We all love to be morally correct. It is a basic human feature instilled by society. Every one of us would like to associate with friends who possess high integrity. Integrity comes from regular and repeated actions. Same of business; do you consider integrity above profits?
My entrepreneur grandfather would say, it takes one single mishap to irreparable damage to your reputation. Are you paying your employees on time? How about your suppliers? Building a reputation is a hard and strenuous job; however, to lose it, you just need an instant. Everyone likes to business with a businessman/entrepreneur, whose reputation is positive. Would you, yourself want to associate with a brand whose reputation is mal?
Hard work / Smart Work
I take the liberty of adding smart work in addition to hard work. Yes, hard work pays. But smart work pays and you would feel satisfied with your success. Hard work in my sense breeds hard work. At the end of the day, you must feel satisfied with your work and contribution to society. Society gives you money for something worthwhile you have done, as Naval Ravikant would say it.
The most underrated quality of an entrepreneur is perseverance. I have lost many good opportunities because I was lazy and did not push myself. Thinking back on those moments, I have only regrets. The difference between success and failure is a thin line of perseverance. Do you have the drive within you to persevere onto the opportunities or are you not driven enough?
Do you take responsibility for your actions? When successful, many of us take full responsibility for success. But when you fall behind, you’d like to blame this on others!! An entrepreneur, on the other hand, has no option. He could hold his employees responsible, but that does not solve much. As an entrepreneur, you would need to take complete responsibility of your organization.
In line with responsibility, an entrepreneur is accountable for the actions of his organization.
I have come across companies that are dead focused on serving their customers’ needs; not only till the sales, even after the sales. This is a difference between retaining and losing a customer. You may have heard that keeping a customer is much profitable than signing up for a new customer.
What do you mean by ‘financial transparency’? It does not mean divulging your business finances to the outside world. It means paying where it is due. To your suppliers, to the government in taxes, to your employees, to your bankers and so on. Misrepresenting figures is not a sign of an entrepreneur with integrity and you must refrain from these.
When I see from the lenses of the above-mentioned qualities, Michael himself meets all the criteria. It is not easy to be successful, but with the business triangle mentioned above, I believe the task seems simpler.
The secrets are no more secrets. Are you an entrepreneur and do you have anything else to add to this business triangle?