Are you Setup For Failure?

Man in a Bear Market - Losing Money in the MarketsThe business world is moving at a rapid pace. We see the creation, the merger and the transition of numerous businesses due to overwhelming globalization, technology, and Internet conductivity. Every morning we open up such periodicals as the Wall Street Journal reading about new entrepreneurial ventures. These are very exciting times for the organizations that want to disrupt the marketplace while also creating new monikers for their namesake.

One of the most appealing ideologies about a startup or entrepreneurial venture is that it begins anyplace. Using the Internet as a communication tool, many business products or services can establish an immediate presence. Coincidentally, gaining access to decent talent is even easier as many organizations have decided to go virtual. Developing the business is the easy part, sustaining it is when difficulty arises.

There is a large gap between a thriving organization and one that continually struggles. Many pundits would argue that the product or service is not ready for the marketplace. Or, that the product or service doesn’t have the right value or differentiation. True, these are necessary virtues for an aspiring organization, but there are some more subliminal tendencies that many Chief Executive Officers, founders, equity partners and employees tend to forget. Let me briefly illustrate some of the methods that could potentially destroy your dreams.

First, it’s important to understand that everyone wants to make tremendous sums of money. After all, many times, the reasons why individuals become entrepreneurs is for the benefit of financial freedom. However, depending upon how you structure your organizational startup; payment plans can drastically affect business outcomes. With many banks not offering any financial loans, entrepreneurs are stuck seeking assistance from private equity partners, credit cards or borrowing against retirement savings. Don’t get me wrong, these are all good options. Paying yourself too much tends to dissuade your focus from the more important business strategy. You need to pay yourself enough so that you’re not distracted from the firm or constantly worried about bills. On the other hand, you cannot pay yourself so much that you become lethargic because of the large sums of money.

If you are a solo practitioner it is always best to take a small salary so that you can reinvest back into the business. If you are the founder of an organization and are not good with business acumen, then you want to hire a Chief Executive Officer. Do not pay this person excessive amounts of money because you want that person focused on the business model and strategy. I tend to find that the larger the pay, the greater the loss of interest. Typically, a good structure is a small base salary of $100,000 to $125,000 per year. Salary must be enough to pay the bills and additional awards for meeting and exceeding company goals can extend into bonuses and equity. Most importantly, keep a good portion of revenues floating back into the business for any unnecessary expenses as well as sales and marketing assistance.

Secondly, you may think that your idea provides the greatest disruption to the market. You believe that your widget is the tipping point and leads to high accolades and financial windfall. Understand there is nothing new under the sun. There are other competitors, and there are other businesses, and as stated at the beginning of this article there will always be some form of global competition. Therefore, it is crucial for you and your employees to be consistent and relentless about marketing. There are too many organizations that have failed before they opened or even famous brands that have moved into bankruptcy protection because of marketing inattentiveness.

With over 480 million established websites, billions of businesses throughout the world, raging global competition and 7.2 billion people to market to, there is too much marketing noise. Your organization needs to be heard amongst the thunderous claps of daily noise. Your firm must engage in both contemporary and traditional integrated marketing strategies so that you can build a community that admires the organization’s value. A lack of focus here can quickly harm your business and ability to become a competitor. Your employees, as well as yourself, must engage a community so that they become your marketing avatars and help to build your brand. For example, products such as Fit Bit and Lucky’ Market all began as a small organization similar. Each understood that by creating value and creating community, they could become well-established brands.

Third, whether you decide to remain a small firm or become a larger entity you have to comprehend that your most vital asset aside from your employees is your customers! There are too many businesses that no longer operate today because of the hateful attitudes towards customers. Iconic brands such as RadioShack, Eastern Airlines, Circuit City and many others have all faltered because of their lack of customer service. I recall a statistic in 1996 from the national newspaper USA Today which mentioned that one bad experience tells 20 other people. However, in the age of social media and inter-conductivity of 4.8 billion individuals; one bad experience tells thousands!

Consumers today barely watch the national or regional news. Most consumers are busy on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram watching the news in real time. What you need to realize as a business owner is that one bad telephone call, one foul mouth reception clerk, one bad day from your logistics professional can quickly become a YouTube sensation. What is sacrosanct is an overwhelming respect, professionalism and focus on customer centricity. You have to bear in mind that your clients are not an interruption of the business, they are the purpose of it.

Operating the business is not easy. There are so many moving parts that it tends to look like a jigsaw puzzle. Each affects the company’s outcome including employees, and consumers are pieces of that puzzle. To help keep your organization focused on creating a community, bringing in revenues and gaining notoriety requires more subliminal undertakings then you realized before reading this article. Please take the time to concentrate on these so that your firm can be the next market leader that everyone cherishes.