Building Businesses: Achievements & Learnings

Absolutely not. Taking risks is a part of the business strategy and helps you learn your strengths and weaknesses and understand what works or does not work for your business

Starting and running a business can be an intimidating task. No matter how much book knowledge you have earned at a business school or how many times you have taken advice from someone who has been running a business; when you start your own venture, no one can guarantee the experience you will have with it. There are a substantial number of factors on which the success of a business depends, and it is crucial for each entrepreneur to gauge these factors and take the necessary steps. 

When I started my brand, I was second-guessing myself and my decision of leaving a stable job and income. But looking back at the journey I have had in the past few years, it seems like the right decision was taken at the right time. Today, after having seen success in running a business and establishing the brand globally, I believe it is my responsibility to share a few lessons I have learned over the course of time. 

Taking risks, failing and still persisting 

Running a business is full of risks and you are definitely going to have your doubts about it. When having your own venture, it is not just yourself that you have to look after, but the many people who are employed with you and are working towards the same goal as you. But does that mean you should not take chances? Absolutely not. Taking risks is a part of the business strategy and helps you learn your strengths and weaknesses and understand what works or does not work for your business. Therefore, you must take chances, because that is what helps you in growth. What is necessary is that you mitigate the risk, understand what’s at stake if you go through with it and weigh out every possible outcome. The risk may not always result in success but know that that is not the end of it. As an entrepreneur, it is essential to learn to accept failure and take it in stride. These risks and failures are what give you lessons for life, and the wisdom that is required to make the business a success in the long run. 

Agility and resilience are key 

We live in a world full of rapid changes and uncertainties - the last two years are one of the most prominent examples of that. The past few months have been challenging for every individual and business, and not everyone has survived the storm. None of us thought that we would have to face such a time where lockdowns were prevailing for months and there was chaos all around, and therefore, no one was prepared for what came our way. While some businesses incurred losses, others had to shut shop because they couldn’t make it through. However, there are some businesses that have overcome all the hurdles that came their way and have maintained their profitability, too. How, you ask. Well, the key here is agility and resilience. Agility empowers businesses and individuals to adapt to changing circumstances easily and navigate through unprecedented times, while resilience gives them the strength to pursue their end goal. It is important for an entrepreneur to have a thorough understanding of what is happening in their environment and keep alternate strategies ready to come out of such situations. Quick adaptation to the changing circumstances helps a business stay afloat and in turn, makes your business stronger. 

Always be open to criticism 

No business can survive if its stakeholders are unhappy or unsatisfied. These stakeholders can be internal or external, and one must value each of them as an entrepreneur. Feedback not just helps you grow your business in numbers, but also aids in building a loyal customer base. Businesses that hear out their employees and customers, and implement the changes required as per the feedback are the ones that are able to sustain in the long run, because when one does that, they are letting the stakeholders know that they are valued, and at the end of the day, your business is as much for them as it is for you. When your customers give you feedback, it means they are using your products and services and trust you to cater to their needs. It enhances the experience that you are offering to your customers and after all, isn’t that what will contribute to your growth? 

Give something back to the community 

In today’s day and age, an entrepreneur cannot solely think about themselves or their business. They have to be considerate of the larger community that they exist in to survive and have to take measurable steps to give back to the community. Building corporate social responsibility helps a business establish its relationship with the local communities, builds a positive reputation and boosts the morale of the employees of that company. While there is no set rulebook on the ways of giving back to the community, businesses are able to find the most relevant ways to do so. You may choose to conduct charity events, donate a part of your profits to the less fortunate, or have a separate arm that works towards the larger good of the society, it’s your call. I believe that serving the community helps one grow professionally as well as personally. 

As an entrepreneur, while we may have our individual experiences, I believe we all go through some common phases. There is a steep learning curve in business and certain roadblocks and challenges that come our way, and we all have to find the patience and courage to get through them. Each individual has their own path set that needs to be followed. All one has to do is be on the lookout at all times and take the necessary steps. While there may be no shortcut to success, the journey, in the end, is always worth the struggle.

(The given guest article is attributed to Madhav Sheth, CEO – realme India, Vice President – realme, President – realme International Business Group) 

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