Here are ten business success tips from the Dragons’ Den star, and the man behind Reggae Reggae sauce!
1. Feel the power of the p-word – passion
Your passion is the driving force behind your business. Tune in to what truly motivates you and you will also discover the unique selling point for your business. It is the key that sets you apart from the rest of the pack. Your USP represents your Unique Self and your Passion.
2. Know your market – and never stop networking
It’s important to know your market niche: where your product or service lies in relation to your competitors and within the broader marketplace. Connecting with others in the industry is the best way to keep up to date with trends and opportunities.
3. The plan is your key to success
Never start up in business without a plan. It is the backbone of everything you will go on to achieve. It is your progress marker and your motivator. It is also the document that will attract others to invest in your venture.
4. Find yourself a mentor
No entrepreneur is an island. You can’t possibly know everything, and you can never know too much. Learning from those who have more experience is the most effective way to avoid making unnecessary mistakes and to develop your business wisely.
5. Make yourself and your business special
Your branding and marketing plan are the keys to your business growth. Standing out from the crowd and constantly staying ahead of the market trend are perhaps the most challenging aspects of running your business. Attracting loyal customers who want to be associated with what you and your product or service represents will help your brand’s reputation to grow.
6. Never be afraid to make mistakes
Setting up in business is always a calculated risk, but you can never learn, develop, or become a success without making a few mistakes along the way. Mistakes are the lessons you need to learn before you can become successful. Take the feedback from the down times then move on.
7. Surround yourself with like-minded people
Your business is only as good as the weakest person in your team. Select people who can offer the right skills you need for the job, then make sure they are inspired to give all of their best and feel appreciated. Remember that not everyone goes at the same pace as you – allow others to find their own rhythm.
8. Focus on finance
All businesses need to make money. At the end of the day, a profit is the only acceptable result. Make sure you pay attention to the financial detail as well as the big picture. Overspending or undercharging on the small things can have a big longterm effect. Manage your cash flow every day.
9. Stay true to your values
You are your business and your business is a part of you. Never forget that. The more people that are involved in all you are striving for, the more voices there will be who want to shape your views. Always listen, then make up your own mind. Sometimes you will need to walk away from a potentially lucrative deal or offer because it does not fit with what you stand for and what you want to offer.
10. Be in it for the long term
Business growth can only happen over time. There is a process that has to unfold. It is important to be yourself in business and to believe in what you do. If you put your personality into your business and do the best you can, you will make your business special. I think that’s the best lesson I can give to anybody.
After that, it is all about perseverance: having a plan, always focusing on that plan, and having loads of passion for it. No one is born an entrepreneur – I certainly wasn’t. But everyone has the choice to turn themselves into an entrepreneur if they want to. You can do it too if you really want to.
This article was first published back in 2011. But, you can still buy Levi Roots’ book – “You Can Get It If You Really Want: Start your business, transform your life” (published by Mitchell Beazley) from Amazon UK.