A recent post on inc.com, the small business resource, has highlighted the importance of keeping in touch with business basics.
The post, inspired by a Wall Street Journal post by Eze Vidra, head of Google for Entrepreneurs Europe, says his tips for entrepreneurs inadvertently raises this key issue, which can easily be overlooked.
In the same way that a sports star will always have to practice the key skills that made him or her successful, no matter how talented they are, and lawyers and doctors have to also keep refreshing the basics and learning no matter how far up the career tree they travel, so some points will always need going over and over and can never be ticked off a list.
In a nutshell, in the constant race to innovate and come out on top, we are all capable of failing to give existing services and clients the care and attention they deserve.
So here are the top three things that should always be at the forefront of your business mind, no matter what else is happening:
– Knowing your markets and your clients. While knowing your market is key to success and expansion, knowing the people who already buy your products and services remains critical. Whether you are in the consumer or B2B space, the more you know about your customers and what their needs, desires and wishlists are, the less likely you are to come out with flawed products that don’t set the world alight. Never stop listening or talking to your customers.
– Keeping it simple. Listening to your customers means you know what they actually want, rather than what the markets and various markets tell you they want. This gives you the chance to build things that actually solve problems the Holy Grail of any product. Vidra cited the example of Google, who started out as a simple mapping service, before moving on to specialised directions between two places by driving, walking, or cycling. They are still solving the same problem how to get from A to B but in ever more advanced ways.
– Hiring the right people. Always a tricky one, particularly if you start a company with friends or co-workers, but one that is critical to get right if your company is to grow to its full potential. It needs the right staff at the right time and that won’t always necessarily involve you if it grows beyond your talents and abilities. In the meantime, hire on talent not relationships, and develop respect and loyalty so that if you do need to part ways it can hopefully be in as civilised a way as possible.
There are of course many other aspects to running a business that require your constant attention, but keep on top of the ones above and you won’t go far wrong.