Photo Credits: Ilay Cooper
Making mistakes in business and also life, in general, is inevitable. I too have made many mistakes during my 40 years in business and that’s completely okay because we are all humans.
However, the important thing is that I try to learn from each of these mistakes and grow as a result. Mentioned below are the five most crucial lessons from this experience.
First, never forget the core of your business and why you started it in the first place. After finding some success, it is easy to fall into an automated state of mind and wrongly think that as long as the company is profitable it will survive. Nothing can be further from the truth. Complacency kills companies. Complacency happens when you forget your roots.
Our roots lie in love. My goal was to infuse our company with kindness and the ability to impart dignity to those at the lowest levels of society. Those at the grassroots are the most important part of our organization and we work every day to never forget this fact. If we stray away from the grassroots, then the company cannot survive.
Second, a good and sustainable organization will have the right people working for it. By right, I mean those individuals who are passionate and dedicated. An advanced degree from a top university is meaningless if someone comes to work every day and is miserable. When employees are happy at work they are more productive and trusting. They will feel a sense of loyalty to the organization.
Third, you cannot go into business blind. Doing thorough research beforehand is vital. A doctor would never perform surgery without first obtaining the appropriate knowledge. In the same way, learning about your particular market and products is essential to be successful.
Fourth, every business needs to have a system and process in place. Systems include marketing, human resources, and training, while the process helps run the entire system efficiently
Finally, communication is extremely essential in a company. In fact, it could be the most important thing. Often, fear blocks communications because many people do not feel comfortable approaching those in leadership positions. That is why it is important to make every employee feel like they can come to you with issues. Managers need to be trained so they can handle the inevitable conflict that arises among people. If communications channels are kept open, then conflicts can be avoided. This cuts down on wasting time and results in a happier workforce.
Throughout this journey, I learned that sustaining a business is harder than starting one. It takes a lot of effort and time to make sure all aspects even the tiniest ones run consistently & smoothly. Even today I still keep adding to this list of lessons.