It’s tough out there – so says the latest Regus Business Confidence Index.
Countless companies, and even some countries, are struggling and may go bust. Unsurprisingly, this affects business confidence globally, causing investors to hold on to their cash and markets to stall. But even in these testing times plenty of businesses are faring well too.
So how can you ensure that your business is one of them? We can all take some lessons from a particular breed of businessmen and -women: entrepreneurs.
As any thriving entrepreneur will tell you, there is no single, foolproof formula to ensuring business success. Plenty don’t get distracted by the macro-economic climate and just get on with it. But speak to enough entrepreneurs and common patterns emerge.
In Growth in a Difficult Decade, a book commissioned by Regus, more than 60 entrepreneurs share their advice on how to achieve growth in the economic downturn.
Here are the findings:
1. Perseverance, positivism and people
In the face of adversity – plough on, stay upbeat and be decisive.
“People who love what they’re doing don’t give up. It’s never even a consideration. It’s a pretty simple formula”, said Donald Trump (pictured), head of the Trump Organization.
Others highlight the importance of hiring people who are better at something than you are.
Coffee shop-chain Starbucks’ chairman and CEO, Howard Schultz, said: “There is no more precious commodity than the relationship of trust and confidence a company has with its employees.”
2. Harness the power of marketing
Today’s multi-channel world offers vast opportunities. Make the most out of them.
Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of opticians chain Specsavers, said: “Customers are more demanding and more knowledgeable using the internet to find out things for themselves, and they want better service. So they need to be told why they should spend money with you.”
3. Learn from your mentors
Take learnings from people whose opinion you trust.
“I’ve found that some of my best mentors will paint a picture for me, but they won’t suggest any sort of direction. They’ll say: ‘Here are the five things that you can do, here are similar experiences that I’ve had'”, said Jason Ross of menswear retailer JackThreads.
4. Think globally and go for growth
Having a global vision is vital in a world where thanks to technology there are no longer any geographical barriers.
Marc Benioff, founder, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, said: “The biggest lesson that I draw from the past decade is the importance of innovating on every level.”
And with innovation comes the potential for growth.
Footwear giant Geox’s founder Mario Moretti Polegato hit it on the head when he said: “It’s not true that everything has already been invented: there is plenty of scope out there for great innovation.”
So, do you feel as upbeat about the future? What’s the growth outlook for your company?
(Photo: Gage Skidmore)