Sunday, July 3, 2011

10 Ways to succeed in business

Business is a “tricky business.” I mean it. One really cannot borrow someone else’s model to apply to his business and succeed. Every business set up has its own dynamics and one really has to proceed with caution, guts, foresight and full knowledge of the dynamics of similar and matching business fields to succeed. Having said that, there are always general guidelines that one may follow to be one’s benefit.

I was attending a workshop lately and listened to some of the speakers talking on business success strategies and tips that may prove to be beneficial for those trying to adopt measures that could ease their business through. I sifted the most important, at least for me and thought of sharing with my viewers. Here are some:
  • Eye on winning: Right from day one, eye on winning, and not on losing. Business is not  like a marathon or a 100-meters sprint in which even the athletes with 2nd and third place also get a medal and a bouquet of flowers. Nor anyone gets a consolation prize. There is only prize for the winner and that prize you must get. Remember the Wimbledon final between Nadal and Frederer a few years back? When Nadal won, Frederer was all tears right there on the centre court. This is exactly what happens in business. While the winner lifts the solo trophy, the losers leaves with tears in the eyes as everything he invested is lost forever. So plan on winning and then make sure you win too. This can only be done if one is well aware of business conditions, and has a team that can make him achieve his dream.
  • Organize a team of forthright and trusted professionals: And naturally, without a trusted, forthright and highly professional teammates, realization of one’s goals is not possible. You do not need sycophants and yes-men to depend. You need forthright people who call a spade a spade and present to you the very candid and well researched analysis of the market dynamics for you to take decisions. In the absence of such an arrangement, you may falter in decision making which could be fatal for realization of your winning goals.
  • Goal posting: Set realistic and attainable goals. Over ambition works sometimes, but not most of the times. See your resources, have trusted help and support lines that you would need to achieve your goals. Planning on faulty lifelines and resource which are not guaranteed, will not help you reaching your goal posts.
  • Learn from Mistakes: If you have faltered in the past, don’t forget that. Successful businessmen always remember what they did wrong and why, and aren’t fool enough to apply the same mechanics once again which previously failed them. Wise are those who learn from their follies, just like great leaders who learn from bitter experiences of the history. Learning from one’s pitfalls and ill planned ballgame strategies in fact polish, understanding of market dynamics and trends.
  • Plan Variants: Always war game your business strategies before putting these to play. Plan on the best course of action, but have up to your sleeve variants and supporting strategies if you think the market conditions and dynamics are pushing you back to a dead end. Always be well prepared to maneuver around a dead end rather than find yourself helpless when hit against the wall.
  • Recover ASAP and Push on: If you find yourself against odds, try the variants prudently but timely. Don’t just throw in the towel so soon. A boxer determined to win doesn’t lie in the ring for long after a fierce blow from the opponent. One has to recover firing all afterburners and bounce back the jubilant opponent by surprising him with your speedy recovery. This is the winning tip. Don’t ever lie on floor a nanosecond more than required.
  • Move-don’t cling to older methods: Inertial attitude leads to stagnation. One has to inject new business techniques, methods and strategies rather than clinging on to age old or the so called “time tested” methods. These may work to keep your business gong, but not thriving.
  • Boldness with flexibility, not rigidity: Have set a course, one has to pursue one’s goal posts boldly and vigorously. But when winds change direction, one has to be flexible to change course, but keeping the direction and destination in sight. Clinging on to the same course and claiming to be bold, is nothing but rigidity which may drift you off course by many degrees.
  • Trust yourself: Easier said than done. But only those can trust themselves, who have clear vision and well thought out achievable goals. A strategy based on fiction cannot make you confident of what you do. Do your homework diligently, have right people beside you to keep you on course and then move on. Remember, no one else can make you decide things for you. It is your confidence that can make you do so. Do not be unethical in your dealings as these smack your trust. If you do the right things, people will have confidence in you and would support you. Unethical businessmen are not liked and soon die their own death in the long run.
  • Plan an honourable timely exit: Having said all above, it is wise and prudent to leave when there is still time for an honourable exit. Continuing clinging to a drowning ship can be disastrous, both for your resource, your organization and your reputation Remember, in business results count or may I say the end game. No one would listen to your excuses for your downfall, as many would be happier finding you collapsing and vanishing from the scene. Excuses may only comfort you for a while, and then you would curse yourself for continuing to invest on a limping horse. When a horse leg is broken, no amount of efforts can bring him back to the track with same vigour and strength, except what happens in movies.


Great post! It pays to have a solid education too. Going through a traditional 4 year program really gives you the discipline you need to be successful in business.

Fran @ Masters Degree

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