The best place in the world to run a business is Singapore and the worst is Venezuela, according to the Global Dynamism Index. The highly reputed survey, quoted by publications such as Forbes and Business Insider and studied by investors and economists all over the world, contains a wealth of important information. But, if you’re an entrepreneur about to launch a new business in 2013, your place of residence is not as important as your state of mind.
Your informed state of mind.
Although attitude is critical to success, it takes more than chanting mantras in the lotus position and sticking affirmations to your mirror to create and sustain business success. Confidence leads to financial victory if it stems from reality and not wishful thinking.
Here are 3 fact-based ways to boost your faith in the success of your new business launch in the United States or any country in the world:
1. Read — Really Read.
Make it a daily habit to read business news, but don’t stop with headlines or teaser copy. The Forbes headline in a Google search for “best countries to run a business” says “In Top Ten Countries for Business, U.S. Ranks Last.”
The headline doesn’t tell you why the U.S. ranks behind countries such as Australia, Finland, Germany, and Israel and the full story doesn’t tell you why the U.S. ranks ahead of Canada, Great Britain, and most of Western Europe. To find out how your country ranked on the list — and whether the ranking is meaningful to your business, you need to read the full report by Grant Thornton.
The complete text explains what the headline doesn’t. If, for example, your business is selling cupcakes, it doesn’t much matter whether your country scores low for science and technology (one of the factors that affect the Global Dynamism Index rankings.) It matters slightly more if your brick-and-mortar business also depends on the Internet for ways to make money online (if technology in your country is so limited that few of your customers have Internet connections). It matters a great deal if you’re trying to sell mobile apps to people who don’t use smartphones.
You don’t need to read every article pertinent to your business, but carefully read the ones you do. And each time you do, ask yourself: “Does this affect MY business?
2. Define Your Market
Every time you have an idea about a product or service, don’t move forward with it until you can answer this one basic question: Who cares?
Let’s say you own a pizza company. You have an idea to increase pizza sales: 2 for 1 pizzas that are sold after midnight. Before you design the ads and send out flyers announcing the promotion, ask yourself who cares about these late-night deals.
If most of the people in your potential market work regular daytime jobs, they might not stay awake long enough to take advantage of your offer. But, if you cater to a college crowd, your idea might be positively received. Most people credit Dominos’ success with its 30-minutes-or-free delivery promise. But the company also beat out competitors by being the only pizza company that delivered to college dormitories. Dominos CEO Tom Monaghan grew up in a university town — Ann Arbor, MI — so he catered to a market he knew and understood.
It’s easy to sell products and services to people who care about them. Find and pursue those who do.
3. Grow Your Business
This seems obvious when you first start a business, but the need to grow your business never ends. It’s sort of like the need to water plants. Without water, plants and all types of vegetation die. Without growth, businesses die.
Business consultant Raz Silberman, who has helped both Fortune 500 companies and small businesses make millions of dollars, suggests these key ways to ensure your company’s continued growth:
- Don’t confuse revenue with profits.
It’s easy and fun to count money coming in. But don’t forget to count expenses in a detailed manner. The service that brings in the most money may be the least profitable. Silberman says a surprising number of CEOs are mistaken about what products are moneymakers and losers.
- Know what kind of company you want to be.
Think about companies and CEOs you admire. Do you want to be the McDonald’s of the online dating industry? As innovative as Steve Jobs? The biggest independent hardware store in your city?
Company growth demands vision. Where do you see your company in 1,5, and 20 years?
- Create a measurable action plan.
If you want results, measure your progress on no less than a monthly basis. If you wanted to reduce overtime, did you? If you wanted to increase productivity, did you accomplish that?
Find out if the actions you take are taking you where you want your company to go.
If yoga gives you focus, it’s a valuable business tool. If giving yourself positive messages inspires you, give yourself a pep talk every morning. But distinguish between thinking positive thoughts and performing positive action.
It’s what you do, not what you think about doing that will make you successful.
David Anderson Wealth has been helping young entrepreneurs to achieve their goals based on 30 years of experience in markets spanning the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA. David Anderson personally believes that “ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things”.
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