Recently, I proudly hosted the 10th anniversary party for my first entrepreneurial venture, JJR Marketing, and reflected upon how I built a successful business. It’s amazing to think how my humble, solopreneur venture has become a growing, well-respected firm with a thriving, dynamic team of 14 creatives and professionals that help me service a wide range of businesses and clients.
I have learned so much along the journey, and I’ve always believed that if you’ve learned something, it’s important to share it. So here you have my ten most important lessons for building a successful business.
1. Be Authentic.
Do business as yourself. Bring your authentic personality and all the special things about you into the way you do business. If you are different in some way, celebrate it and everyone around you will too.
2. Invest in Yourself.
To build a successful business, you must make an investment in your personal development, the equipment you need and the people on your team. Attend conferences and seminars to keep learning. Buy the software that will take your business to the next level. Hire the specialist to help you with areas of your business you find tedious or difficult. You’re worth it and so is your business.
3. Be grateful.
I believe this is the most powerful accelerator to achieving your dream. On a personal level, it’s my secret weapon. I’ve written more than 4,000 personal thank you notes to people I’ve met and connected with over the years. I am truly grateful for each of their contributions to my livelihood, whether it was a simple conversation or the development of a conversation into a client relationship. I believe my gratitude brings good things my way.
4. Every Decision Has an Impact.
When you decide to do something, you will usually need to invest time and money to implement it. The time commitment will be important because things that are worthwhile are never easy, and usually take strategy and preparation. If a decision isn’t right, it may take you 3-4 months to recover from it. That’s why you should have 3-4 months of savings to compensate for any decision that falls flat Then you will have the wiggle room to try something new that …who knows?…might be the best decision of your life.
5. Growth Costs Money.
It’s important to know how much your company’s growth is costing you and to monitor it carefully. Are you reaping an ROI (return on investment) or an ROO (return on objective)? If your growth is costing you more than you can handle, consider whether or not this is the right time to grow. The great thing about being an entrepreneur is that there is always opportunity to become a successful business in the future as well as the present.
6. Culture is Everything.
Nurturing a strong, developed culture in your company can lead to happier employees, better teamwork and a sense of belonging within the organization. Consider the culture of your own business. Would every team member describe your business the same way? How do you communicate culture-building information to your team? Through a written mission statement? Team meetings? Internal newsletter? Social events? Think about what you can do to create a richer, more thriving community within your company. In the end, you’ll be a more successful business.
7. Focus on Excellence.
Excellence is the great equalizer in the business world—we all should strive for it on a daily basis. It has no barriers or languages. When excellence is present, growth is possible.
8. Fix It Now or Fix It Later.
An unattended problem in your business is like that bad dishwasher in the kitchen. You can keep rewashing a portion of the dishes for a while, but it will continue to drain your time and energy until someone takes the time to fix the problem. Whether it’s your brand, your accounting, your processes, etc., you can set it up right when you open your business or you’ll have to fix it later. Chances are, you’ll save resources fixing it now. Just like building a tower on a concrete foundation instead of one built of sand, your business will be able to grow more securely and quickly if you take the time to establish a solid foundation.
9. Focus On the Right Prize.
It’s not the money. (Or is shouldn’t be!) It’s not the fame. It should be excellence and reputation. Build that, and the rest will follow.
10. Thought Leadership is the New Game.
Just ten years ago, the only way to communicate to our prospects (besides face to face) was to advertise to them, through mediums like direct mail and print or broadcast media. We called that “push” marketing, as we would “push” our message out to our audience. Well, today we reach our customers through “pull” marketing. They come looking for us on the internet for the information they need. Our job is to “pull” them onto our site with valuable content. So it is important to share your message and knowledge with your customers/prospects so they will recognize your value as a thought leader and someone who could help solve their problems and grow their business. Also, as entrepreneurs and marketers, sharing our knowledge via website content, blog posts, videos, etc. gives us a chance to encapsulate our intellectual property into a format that can be shared and established as our own.
Those are my “big ten” that have helped me learn, grow and celebrate my tenth anniversary. I hope they can help you learn, grow and celebrate your next milestone too!
Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is the CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC (www.todayslatina.com), Founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), Author of 8 books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker and pilot. Jacqueline speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion and achieving success in business. She has been hired by the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, Farmers among other corporations to share her inspiration.
If you or an organization you know needs as speaker, please get in touch with us at http://www.jackiecamacho.com/contact.