What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you think about starting your own business? The funding for business? Am I right? If I am right, then you are wrong! Yes, it is true that any start-up comes into being after the first round of funding. However, if you talk to any successful entrepreneur, they will tell you that funding did give them that extra benefit of scaling up or while boot-strapping, but that was not all. Success in business is something else!
A lot of people approach me with the mindset of funding first. Let us see why I say that funding is not everything and what the other things that matter are.
The basic idea behind this concept is simple. As a business, what is your priority? Yes its profits, now how do profits happen, well its simple.... through great sales. What it takes to have great sales, its customers’ satisfaction. Your customers will really not be interested in the amount of funding your raised. They are looking for satisfying their needs which happens via the quality of services you provide and value you bring to them for money they pay. They are looking for something that can understand and solve their issues. This should be your primary aim. What problem I am solving and how am I providing value continuously?
Funding does help in scaling up your business. However, your value proposition and feasibility of idea have to be sorted before you go for funding. This is the reason why a lot of start-ups do not get funding. Once in business, you will have to increase your cash flows and ensure that you make profits. So, you have to build a reputation to have that many customers for a longer period of time. So, how do you attract more customers?
We have seen many e.g. of online commerce ventures where it was very lucrative in beginning to get customers through discounting model and ease of shopping. The profits later became the issue, once the funding got over. Now you go for funding again and repeat the mistake. The mistake is not having the clarity that its the repeat customers or repeat buying behavior which is the major reason of many brands being successful for years till date. If you provide value and quality, people will buy your product again. Very few start-ups focus on that. Most time new businesses focus on getting more and more new customers and exhaust themselves in process. They do not see the value of repeat buying behavior. The systems that I have taught and implemented in companies is based on Repeat buying hence value creation. Greater Profits and effortless branding are an end-result of this.
What can you do to make sure you have repeat customers or customer retention?
You must make sure that you come across clearly to your customers. They should not be misguided or should not misunderstand your services or products. They must understand that you have the ability to take care of their pain points. That you care! Being successful and wealthy is an outcome of sustained efforts, clear attitude and focus.
You must be very focused and dedicated towards your goal. You should know why you are doing what you are doing. There must be a vision that you have and a goal that you want to achieve. Nothing must come in its way. Determination and focus will definitely take you a long way.
Concentrate on the quality of your products and services. That is something no customer will ever compromise with. If they are paying you, they will definitely want the best results. A good strategy is also a must. You must build a proper business strategy that will help you run your business successfully and the way you want.
It is important to understand that funding is just a channel that can materialize your business, however, the actual thing about business is "why", the purpose of it.
So, rather than focusing on getting more and more money for your business, the focus should be on having clarity about your goals, being committed towards your customers’ demands, a larger than life purpose, and having specifics about how will you reach there with or without any funding.
As an entrepreneur, you must concentrate on the solutions that you offer to your clients, the value chain and aftercare. To get funding, focus on making an awesome strategy for your business, with a right model and a broader vision! It will automatically come if you can show investors a great vision, passion and good business model.
Thus, funding is not all that you need for your business. Wealth is an outcome of sustained efforts and a combination of all that we discussed above.
Make your business a successful one!