Have the ability to deconstruct your business and reinvent it again. If you can do so; you can succeed even in a failed industry. The McDonald brothers were able to create a diner that delivers super fast service, with high-quality food, because they were able to deconstruct the entire concept of a traditional diner. They went to a tennis court and redrew the layout of their entire kitchen. Not once, but multiple times, until they got it right.
Deconstruct & reinvent
Foresee the future
When you try to do what’s mentioned in the point above, you deconstruct your business and reinvent it with a revolutionary idea, it isn’t going to be enough. One needs to anticipate how that idea is going to pan out in the real world. Then work on determining how the customers will adopt that new idea and how difficult will the learning curve be for them.
Whenever you’re introducing something new in the market, think about how the customers are going to react to it and how long will it take for the users to comfortably adopt it. This exercise would save you a considerable amount of pain post the launch of the product/service.
Be courageous enough to fight a lost battle once again.
This is where your madness as an entrepreneur gets tested. Are you brave enough to venture into an idea that had already failed earlier? If you’ve got the balls to do it and come out victorious, glory will be yours!
When Ray Kroc meets the McDonald brothers and suggests them to franchise their restaurant, the brothers say that they had already tried and failed, so they weren’t too keen to do it again. However, Kroc wasn’t fazed one-bit due to that. He went ahead, partnered with the brothers and took it upon himself to spread the franchises across the nation. The rest, as you know, is history.
Find the right founder and work with him for a while.
You don’t always have to be the founder of a company yourself. This has turned into a very misguided notion these days. Everyone wants to be the founder; everyone wants to be the CEO and rush for the throne, even when they’re barely anything there. Get this thing straight, not everyone has management abilities and leadership abilities in them that it takes to be able to run an entire company.
Find the right founder who is struggling with a problem. Discuss how can your abilities be best suited to solve his problem. Place yourself in that unique position and then join him as a team member. This will not only relieve you from all the pressures of running the company, but it’d also place you in a very strong position for future.
Manage cash flow efficiently.
Several businesses face cash crunch during their early stages of operations. There may be several reasons for that: the cash flow cycle hasn’t begun properly yet, expenses are rising exponentially, bootstrapping strategy isn’t working out, etc. Your cash movement patterns haven’t stabilized yet so even the excel sheets and graphs cannot help you with it. This is when one needs to pay extra attention to the cash flow and manage it efficiently. Regardless of whether you’re self-funded or if you’ve got an investor by your side, if you don’t keep a close watch on the inflow and outflow of cash, it’s going to seriously affect the survival of your business.
Get the business model right.
Sonneborn’s first advice to Ray Kroc was an amazing punch line. He said, ‘you cannot build an empire with a 1.4% cut.’ This meant that Kroc had to revise his business model in order to resolve his cash flow problem and have better control over the franchises. Thus, he pivots his company from selling franchises for McDonald’s restaurants to becoming a real-estate owner leasing land to those franchises. What a turn around! If a list is prepared for the best business decisions of the century, this one would probably be among the top ones.
This fact clearly showed how crucial your business model can be. It is perhaps the most under estimated but the most crucial block for establishing your business. Screw it up and your business would never reach its true potential. With a wrong business model, you’ll basically be running a crap producing engine.
Most entrepreneurs decide on their business model by seeing someone else’s. If it works for them, then it’d work for me as well. That’s why we live in a world with tons of ‘Uber for [x]’, ‘Airbnb for [y]’, and ‘Instagram for [z]’.
Getting a killer team is an ultimate mantra that decides on what kind of company you’re going to have in times to come. But it’s easier said than done. Team building is a messy process. If you’re not a hotshot company with a swanky office, or millions in the bank, or with a good PR department killing it for you, you’ll probably have to struggle a little harder in getting the coolest folks to come on board. If you try to do so, using conventional methods, you might come back empty handed most of the times.
But you plunged into this mission to do something unique and to make your mark. You cannot do that with a bunch of sheep. To achieve something that you’ve never achieved before, you’ll have to do something that you’ve never done before, i.e. recruit your team unconventionally.
Never compromise on your standards & principles.
Set some quality standards and company principles and never turn your face on them. No matter what! Never do that. There would be times when these principles would definitely be tested to your limit, and you’ll not see any tangible value in abiding by them. But hold onto yourself stronger during those times and stand by those principles. It’s these principles and standards that will make our break your business in a long run.
It’s never too late to pursue your dreams.
We’ve heard this cliché countless times. But what we don’t hear more often is that perhaps the price tag on those dreams increases exponentially during the later stages of life. Ask yourself the question whether you’re still willing to pay that price. If yes, dive in by all means!
There is no greater joy than the one that you get when you’re pursuing your dreams. Your heart pumps blood faster, your mind can think at speeds you didn’t know, sleep suddenly becomes a boring activity, and you forget what was the difference between a work life and a social life. You love the grind like an addiction.
Ray Kroc believed in McDonald’s. So, even at the age of 52, he mortgaged his own house to build a business. That’s what a business can do to an individual. Once you’re smitten by an idea, all of a sudden no risk is big enough. But always remember, you’re paying a price to live your dreams. Be prepared to pay that price.
Be ruthless enough to reach the maximum velocity that propels your company’s growth through the stratosphere. Being hungry isn’t enough. A lot of people die of hunger. You’ve got to do something about that hunger. Ruthlessness might just be the catalyst that you need to get your growth rate in the supersonic range. If you’re good at your job, but if you’re not fast enough, if you’re not aggressive enough, if you’re not ruthless enough, someone else is going to overtake you and you’ll be left a sitting duck.