Starting out most of you will only have a great idea, a plan to execute that idea and your integrity. Your idea might or might not be great. Your plan may or may not be executable. But your integrity is who are you and your business' reputation.
Building a business is not just about numbers. It's about how you make those numbers happen. Forecasts and budgets are simply objectives, your end results. But success is not about focusing on the results, but on the process to get those results.
The more you know about your prospects and customers, the more successful ANY sales efforts will be. The more you listen, the more you learn about customer problems and needs; the easier it is to match your products/services with those problems and needs
A customer-centric culture is where the customer comes first and the prime focus of everything the company does, externally. That starts with how you treat your employees, internally. You show your customers the love, by showing your employees the love.
For many entrepreneurs, this sounds like some cultural nirvana. Accomplishing one of those two monumental challenges would be a great thing. But both? It's not only possible, but if you accomplish one, you will almost always, make the other happen!
Becoming an entrepreneur is never easy. But beyond just survival is the issue of growing the business. Often, the entrepreneur, so bent on making it happen becomes consumed by the business. In short, instead of owning the business, the business owns them!
A great quote from a great NFL coach, Bill Parcells. It's a philosophy that can serve entrepreneurs well because it reflects results - what has happened and where you are. This helps you know what you have to do to change the score.
The phrase "the customer is always right" has been gospel for nearly 150 years. But for entrepreneurs, always trying to "go the extra mile" to please a customer, there are customers who will take advantage. Sometimes, you have to "fire the customer!"
It happens every day. An entrepreneur learns that a former key employee, who left under good terms, has solicited suppliers and customers with a competitive offering. And, without a non-compete agreement, a new competitor and not a legal leg to stand on!
Generating revenue is the most critical part of getting an enterprise solidly underway. No matter how good your product, selling potential customers is difficult without a major track record. The best advice to solve that is to embrace "give to get!"