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Benchmarking enterprise success is often difficult because the parameters of success vary within the business landscape. Yet, a successful business or entrepreneurship is seldom a happy accident. Leadership pundits and business consultants are constantly studying and analysing the DNA of a successful enterprise. Why are some entrepreneurs more successful than others? What are some elements common to all successful businesses?
Here are some of the most potent elements that successful entrepreneurs vouch for:
Innovation is a key element that enables creative thinking, adaptability and long-term strategic vision. Start by analysing customer research and feedback to identify opportunities for innovation. For example, studying the existing gaps in your own or competitor products can help you streamline a future course. Encouraging intrapreneurship, which is rewarding employees who think like entrepreneurs and bring new ideas to the workplace is another way of fostering an innovative mindset.
2. Calculated risk
No risk, no reward. While the most common advice doled out is to go with your gut, any business decision shouldn’t be taken based on emotions alone. Justify your ideas with data, do your due diligence, speak to advisors or experts in the domain. Invest time studying the numbers so that it all adds up.
Before starting any venture, it is important to ask the following questions:
Create a roadmap with a list of probable outcomes and weigh how the risk will pan out. Above all, create a flexible strategy considering the worst-case scenarios so you can pivot if need be.
3. Foresight and vision
Foresight and long-term vision help the business move forward with a clear and well-defined roadmap. Daimler, the German automotive corporation, is known for its use of sophisticated foresight tools to collaborate on trends and feed relevant future insights into their R&D, innovation and strategy. While small businesses or start-ups may not have expensive foresight analytics, they can use publicly available information to make a start. Use common data visualization and modelling tools like Tableau to visualise and understand data. Alternatively, use basic spreadsheet applications to get started.
Entrepreneurial leadership is not just for start-ups but for businesses of any size. There are multiple leadership styles and no one in particular is the best. However, some skills are indispensable to navigate the dynamic shifts in the current business climate. Contrary to popular belief, many of these skills can be cultivated if you are eager and willing:
5. Monitoring cash flow
According to a Score study, 82% of small businesses fail due to cash flow problems. If a business always spends more than what it earns, it leads to a cash flow problem. Entrepreneurs need to stay on top of their bookkeeping to ensure a healthy cashflow. Additionally, they can use the following tips to improve cash flow:
Entrepreneurship is living its moment now, encouraged by the investment support available and hundreds of success stories across the world. While there is no one-size-fits-all blueprint for success, what’s common to the stories of entrepreneurs across the board is passion, innovation, leadership, foresight and incredible financial acumen. Above all, great entrepreneurs do not fear failure but consider it as a stepping stone to success.
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