Life as a startup entrepreneur and a rising star is a thrilling ride. You have the opportunity to shape your future, impact and influence others. You also have the opportunity to rub shoulders with successful and experienced entrepreneurs and learn from their experiences.
Just as anything in life, entrepreneurship has its challenges, such as, funding, finding the right market, keeping up with new ideas and trends, etc.
But for me, these three key factors will make or break your business vision – Getting loyal customers, time management and cash flow. Overcoming these challenges will exponentially drive your business to the top. Here’s how…
Getting loyal customers.
Improving customer loyalty should be a priority or they develop wings and fly away.
To better your company loyalty is to share your value. You need to tell them what your brand stands for. Provide excellent customer service, listen to them and address their concerns in a timely manner. Be transparent especially when things don’t go as planned and go beyond expectation.
There was a time we built a website for a client after installing the website, and everything was up and running and handed over the website to her. After the handover we found out that she was unable to run it, so we decided that we would regularly check her website to ensure her customers have the best possible experience when they visit her website. This is one example of showing our customers what we stand for and it has made us so endearing to the client.
Even when you have a difficult customer, adopt a different leadership style, because no one likes being patronised, be sympathetic, listen and stay firm. Take time to talk to the customer.
Managing your time.
Business owners are constantly working against the clock. Many times my daily to-do list is inexhaustible, to avoid burning out I have to manage my time very well. I learnt that you must finish the day before it arrives otherwise it will finish you. Hence I must write down all I want to do tomorrow during the previous day, otherwise, I will be overwhelmed and probably be seething in my office.
Another important skill an entrepreneur has to have is the ability to delegate. Decide what is important, make key decisions, and cut out the non-urgent ones. You don’t need to respond to every email and you don’t need to attend every meeting. Ask someone to give you feedback on key issues. Try to switch off in the evenings and learn to relax at weekends.
Stringent financial controls are important both in business and in your personal life.
When you’re faced with a spending decision, especially a large purchase decision, don’t just assume you can afford something. Confirm that you can actually afford it and that you haven’t already committed those funds to another expense.
Track your spending, small purchases here and there add up quickly, and before you know it, you’ve overspent your budget. Tracking your spending to discover places where you may be unknowingly overspending. If you don’t exercise discipline, you won’t be able to run your business well, because money is like gasoline, if there is no cash flow the business can grow and probably disappear by the wayside.
If you have an accountant, make sure that they manage your business and personal finances – otherwise, you risk finding little reason to put your hand in the company pot for personal pleasures.
Finally, you are paying the lowest prices for products and services. Look for discounts, coupons, and cheaper alternatives whenever you can.