Businesses all over the world steadily grow and try to compete against each other every day. While taking the slow and steady approach is certainly viable, it’s not what most entrepreneurs set out to do when they first launch their operations. Entrepreneurs typically understand the value of taking calculated risks, and of making an impact. Rather than simply surviving, they dream of disruption; of building a business that seemingly comes out of nowhere to permanently change an entire industry, and to leave its mark on society.
The holidays are a critical time for businesses of all kinds. Retail businesses in particular often rely on the holidays for a considerable portion of their annual revenue. Businesses in industries that aren’t associated with the holidays, on the other hand, might experience a sharp drop in revenue as employees and clients go on holiday, and just as holiday bonuses need to be paid out.
In order to grow, new businesses need more than just an innovative idea and sufficient funds to get it off the ground. Growth and success are built on trust relationships, and the most successful entrepreneurs are ultimately those who build and maintain those relationships best. This is true in every relationship a business has, including those with employees, suppliers, customers, and ultimately investors.
At the age of 33, and with an estimated net worth of $2.3 million USD, Kathryn Minshew, the founder and CEO of career portal The Muse, doesn’t fit the profile of big Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Rather, her career resonates with the experience of many young entrepreneurs today, and offers us unique insights that we can apply in our own businesses.
Entrepreneurs are inherently risk takers. They know that successfully creating a new business, standing out in a competitive industry, and eventually growing to prominence all depend on finding ways to stand out, and to provide new and innovative solutions to customers. It’s not a simple endeavour, of course, to leverage this knowledge to reach entrepreneurial success. Developing those solutions requires research, experimentation, and time. Innovative businesses need innovative employees, expertise, and the resources to test and implement new ideas. All of these things cost money that many businesses don’t have to spare unless that investment produces returns within a reasonable timeframe.
Entrepreneurs invest an enormous amount of time, effort, and resources in building their startups into stable, profitable enterprises. Considering these major sacrifices, it’s no surprise that many business owners become very cautious about making major changes once they do achieve that stability and profitability. Unfortunately, those instincts can get in the way of their business’ continued growth and longer term success.
When we discuss growing a business, the conversation typically focuses on financing, innovation, personnel management, and cost management. Another key factor that’s often under-emphasised is customer service. In a way, the way that businesses interact with customers is a part of the product, and optimising this can often benefit a business as much as any other form of product development.
Throughout his career, Jack Dorsey has operated with a laser focus on the power of fast, simple, and effective communication. Reaching well beyond his work in founding and serving as Twitter’s first CEO, Dorsey has applied his passion for good communication to his other business ventures, as well as his personal management philosophy.
Founding and running a business is a taxing experience, both in the short and long term. Going on to transform a new startup into a successful and growing enterprise is a downright herculean task. The road to success is long, and can often be discouraging. Considering this, it’s understandable that a large majority or new businesses never make it past their first year, and many of those that do never grow to become significant names in their industry.
Running any startup requires entrepreneurs to walk a financial tightrope before becoming profitable. International startups, though, face the added complexity of managing international transactions, foreign suppliers, distributors, and employees. This makes it even more difficult for them to become profitable and makes them even more vulnerable to cash flow interruptions than their domestic counterparts.