Is your goal to build an empire around your business? That dream, held by many, doesn’t happen overnight. So, what does it take to achieve success? And where should you start?
What Is a Business Empire?
A business empire does not have a definition. It is often associated with multi-billion-dollar businesses with branches established all over the world.
However, this is not the only way it can be defined. There is no standard and there are no parameters or thresholds upon crossing which, the business turns into an empire.
A business empire is any business that starts from scratch, proves itself and continues to grow over time.
Build an Empire: Things to Know to Have a Strong Start
A strong start is crucial to stabilise a business and gives the business the right direction to development. To build an empire, an entrepreneur must be anything but spontaneous.
Every step of the following takes research, and thorough investigation to be executed properly and fulfill its purpose.
Offer What People Want
Deciding which product you want to introduce to the market is one of the main steps that should be studied before starting.
Believing in a specific product is great, but it is not enough. Selecting a product that you admire, or one that you have a good feeling about it, is not a guarantee that it will make profit.
Studying the market and positioning your product in the correct place is crucial before selecting a product. Customising a product based on the market’s needs is more efficient than following the trend. While the trend may bring you immediate success, a product built based on a strategy will have more success and stability in the long run. Furthermore, the process of choosing a product to sell or create should be as specific as possible, especially when you are starting.
Focusing on, not just one product, but also a specific niche of a product, makes the process well-defined and measurable. This makes it easier to point out the weaknesses and modify the process accordingly, in addition to limiting any financial loss.
Learn and Earn
Another relevant step that should be prior to launching a product is learning. Learning involves studying everything related to the industry: the production process, the financial aspect, the consumer behavior, and all other tiny details.
To build an empire around a product or a service, it immediately puts you in the position of “the expert.” Therefore, you should be well informed about the industry to look credible.
Also, the more you know, the easier it is to avoid being misled or falling victim to fraud due to inexperience. It is wise to spend enough time learning and researching, knowing that this time is not wasted. The time you spend learning, will be translated into money you will be earning later.
Find a Coach
Business consultants are also an option that could be so beneficial, especially in well-established industries. A great help is making friends and building connections with people who have been through this road before.
There is always someone’s experience that you can learn from. Moreover, this will be of great help in the future if you need a partner, or a cooperation with a competitor.
Listening is also a fragment of the research process which is concerned with getting to know your consumers better. What are their problems with other brands in that industry? What do they lack? How can you improve their experience? Which kind of service/product do they need? And of course, what would make them replace the brand they are loyal to with another one?
The best place to find out more about consumers, is to ask these consumers themselves.
Focus on Bringing In Cash
When starting a business, things can easily seem overwhelming as there are many things to prepare and get done. Cash is the lifeblood of business and is essential to sustain its continuity and growth.
For service-based businesses, the best model would be making all payments up-front to be in control of your cash flow. Deposits are also a good option to secure your financial situation and avoid cash gaps.
Even for retail, you can offer an up-front monthly payment system in return for benefits such as free delivery or discounted prices. This is specifically successful for products which consumers buy on a repeat basis.
This help you plan your monthly target ahead and avoid the gap between the time when you receive cash, and your financial commitments like staff salaries or stock inventory.
Keep Costs Low
Of course, you build an empire for the future.it won’t start out as one. Almost everyone starts with a tight budget either to minimise risk, or due to lack of resources.
When it comes to office space, marketing, and infrastructure, you should avoid retail as much as possible. There are more options than we typically anticipate. Office space, furniture and filing systems, phones, inventory, office accessories, and advertising are all items that have many alternatives. “Especially in this economic environment, where credit is at a premium, vendors are more willing than ever to find creative ways to finance transactions, and that is a trend will likely continue over time.”
Remember that if your expenses are high, even making a huge revenue would not shield your empire. So, do your best to discover the best deals, this will have a positive impact on your business.
Overestimate Expenses and Underestimate Revenues
A golden rule for whenever you are setting up a strategy, a budget, or any project plan: expect the least income and the maximum expenses.
This is not about having a pessimist perspective at all. To build an empire, you have to be careful with money matters because it is sensitive when a business is still in its initial phase. Building your basic budget based on the worst-case scenario is about preparing ahead for any challenge your company may face.
As time passes, you will have a clearer vision about your estimated income and expenses, and planning will be much easier.
Sales and Marketing
Many of those build an empire start by focusing on building a brand image and spend much money with this goal in mind. Of course, building a strong brand image is a must for any great business.
However, it is not something that one should start with. Building a brand comes after establishing the business to a firm ground. Sales and marketing for your newborn business empire should have one goal: getting leads. All your efforts, financial or not, should be concerned with buying you customers. Create a marketing and sales funnel system that you can work, test, and measure. That way, you stabilize your business with enough cash flow, and then build your brand image as one which is already reputable.
How to Build an Empire: The 3 Steps that Come After the Start
If you think automation is expensive, try doing things manually. Automation is a huge time saver.
It could be overwhelming to run a business empire. It takes time to build an empire. At many times, you will find yourself wasting time and resources on activities that have no impact on your profit whatsoever. Eliminate that by assigning these tasks to a system. If you are paying someone to do tasks that a system can handle better, you are going in the wrong direction. The right system will be the backbone of your business and it will help save your most valuable asset: time.
Accuracy is also another pro that makes setting up a system a must in every organization. A business an empire should be professional in every sense of the word. Inaccuracy is unacceptable, especially today, in a culture where customers have the highest expectations. Lowering your error rate is central to present your business as a powerful entity.
In many cases, business owners start on their own, or with a partner or two at most. Then, they spend the first phase of their business doing everything themselves from cleaning up the office to accounting and marketing, and everything in between.
This may be efficient for the times when you still cannot afford to hire people. Once your business has survived that phase, do not let it linger. Move to the next phase by hiring people to help you. You will have some difficulty handing over tasks because you are used to getting everything done the way you want it.
However, you will be amazed with how much the process will be faster and much more financially rewarding. It goes without saying that before starting anything, you should hire legal advice and an accountant, then hire more resources as you go according to the nature of your business. Remember that you can never build an empire alone.
Many entrepreneurs hesitate to take a step that involves expansion. When a business passes its first phase and starts growing, entrepreneurs feel comfortable and less stressed about whether their business will be making money.
Therefore, deciding to expand becomes a step outside of the business’s comfort zone. Expansion could be an added service, a new product line, or another branch opening. It all requires hiring new resources, additional expenses, planning, time, and effort. Of course, expansion encompasses some risk, however, it is a major step that every business empire must go through.
Knowing when to expand is key to sustain a stable empire. In addition, listening to the feedback of your customers and comparing your position to competitors in the market are two main factors that you should consider before expanding. Empires are not meant to be small start-ups forever. They are built to be great and leading enterprises.
How to Build an Empire Like The Global Giants
Pioneers who built a business empire like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, or Bill Gates, always have a thing or two in common. Of course, each one of these multi-billionaire businessmen/women had a personal approach, however, they do share some basic thought leading ideas and qualities.
Believe in the Product
Here we are still talking about the importance of designing a unique product.
Each one of these inspirational names had a one-of-a-kind product which later became a necessity. They observed the market and saw something that most people do not. They saw something that the market was lacking; something extra which only they could provide.
They all believed in their products and how revolutionary it would be if they introduced their concepts to the world. They were right. Believing in your product stems from deep analysis and investigation. None of them started looking for a product that could make them billionaires overnight.
Yet, money came knocking on their doors. The point is: to build an empire, you should be looking for a product to believe in, not one of those how-to-make-money-while-you-are-sleeping products. Yes, you can make money online, or while you are sleeping, but this will not be a business empire one day.
Develop a Business Culture, Tell a Story
Little things not little! Your logo design, your slogan, or how you introduce your product in 140 characters are anything but trivial.
When IBM said “Think” they were introducing themselves as thought leaders in a robust industry that has been going viral since then.
But Apple had another say when they adopted “Think Different” as their slogan. Steve Jobs introduced his empire as a game changer; one that will force other empires to reconsider their strategies. Every product Apple has produced told the story of “Think Different” to the world. Stories do have a sacred power. Your business empire must have its own culture and code that is reflected through the product and everything that surrounds your business. How you present your ideas are just as important as coming up with them.
Be a True Leader and a Role Model
True business is constructed upon relationships. Strong relationships between management and employees, and between the employees themselves are what makes a company stand out and have a good reputation.
Wise leadership drives your staff to look up to you, and to continue to work for your company because they believe in your dream. They can see themselves growing and giving back to the organization.
If you do not have clear perspective and vision, why should anybody look up to you? People need inspiration and change. A typical “boss” is someone that employees quit as soon as they have the chance. On the other hand, a true leader is someone that employees would rather stick with through thick and thin than be anywhere else. Cultivate your business environment with ethics and moral values and do not compromise those.
You will find yourself surrounded with more than just “employees” but rather loyal believers in your vision.
How to Build an Empire: Summary
To build an empire, there are many stages that your business will go through. Every stage has different requirements.
Yes, a business empire is a lot of work and effort. Take time to analyse and plan before moving to a new stage.
Be attentive and listen to the feedback of everyone surrounding you. Also, do not risk everything all at once. There is always a risk in business, however, you determine how much you risk – and when – with a solid strategy.