From the writing I have been doing, I realised that I too learn from the process. I might get a question on a field that I have never paid attention to, which forces me to research and in the process learn a thing or two.
Before I share tips on how to grow a business, I want you to change your mindset on business. Instead of looking at your business as small, consider it a growing business. It is only with that growth mindset that you are able to project growth and work towards building your business. The key here is to start small but think big.
I learnt business lessons the hard way when I was growing King Kaka empire. Then, I complained of how unfair life and the business environment is, but looking back I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
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Without the failures and heavy prices I paid for my mistakes, I could have repeated the same mistakes. From mistakes comes learning and it is why I encourage young entrepreneurs to embrace failure for every failure is an opportunity to learn. An expensive lesson it might be, but someone has to pay for the class of life.
Quality over size
I have fallen victim several times on this. There was a time one of my companies was growing fast. I was happy with the growth and kept grabbing all the opportunities that came my way, which meant more money. Some might call it being greedy, but I too didn’t realise that I was stretching myself thin.
Before I knew it, I had a large clientele that I couldn’t cater to properly. M employees became too many to manage and that affected the quality of my output. When I came to that realisation, I had lost a number of my clients. I had to make the tough choice of keeping a lean company offering quality service to my clients.
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Make sure the business meets its core objective but above all, have fun while at it.
What do I mean by fun? I mean that what you do should be what you love doing and that means you will have motivation, energy and enthusiasm to face the new challenges and to wake up every morning.
Have you ever seen athletes when they are in the practice fields? They are ever happy and smiling even in the biting morning cold. They don’t mind leaving the comfort of their blankets to pursue what they like. When you have the goal in mind of what you are pursuing, the blankets stop being so warm when dawn strikes.
This will be a hard pill to swallow but don’t fight at being the best in what people have already established.
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Instead, be the first to take up a new challenge, be the first to try out new things. To innovate as that’s the only way your business will go into new grounds. Everything is going through the train of evolution.
Most of us want to play it safe by jumping on the moving train, but what that means is that you will never realise the potential that you hold since you are playing safe.
Embrace the mistakes
Every time I read, listen or hear a story of an icon or a powerful business person, the first thing I always look for are the ways they failed.
I have been asked, what I would ask Jay Z (who happens to be my business role model) if I ever get to meet him. My focus question will not change. I would still ask him what his failures were and how he overcame them.
Most of us will focus on the winnings which are publicised, yet before one wins there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes, and that mostly includes failures and mistakes.
Plan for the future
It is said that the future is not promised, but when you prepare for the future then you are secured. If you are planning an entry into the market on a real time basis then you are doing it the wrong way.
Most successful businesses you see now are a product of future planning. They are living their ‘future’ so it’s not realistic to get on the same fighting ground with them yet they put up their foundations years ago.
Put structures now but prepare for the future. My friends tell me that I am crazy with my ideas. I always show them dates when I had the first idea and compare that to the time the idea materialised three years later. All that time, I was doing my research - learning the market and studying trends - which many don’t do.
The writer is an award-winning artiste and entrepreneur