Starting any business or project is not easy in the beginning and being a normal person doesn’t mean you can’t have a business of your own one day. If you have skill and determination you are saddled and ready to journey the road to success in whichever endeavour you wish to pursue. Know who you are, what you can do and what you want.
How to be a Successful Business Entrepreneur
To run a successful business, you have to start small and work your way up. Plan your work and understand it well. Be informed about possible risks, costs, losses and profits before hand. You need to do market research to learn about your customers, your competitors, and your industry. Learn which products and services are in demand, and how to be competitive.
Early Stage Vs Late Stage Growth Challenges for Small Business
You may think the initial stages of a business is the most crucial part, but the truth of the matter is that the later stages are the most crucial. Because now there is more money and more people involved. The profits are bigger, but so are the risks and losses. Knowing this should not bring you down but make you more determined to succeed. Whichever business project you choose to bring to life you should be sure of one thing – Never give up on what you have started.
Inspiring Story of Great Entrepreneurial Success
I’d like to share with you one of the many inspiring business stories of all time. It has been a means of motivation and strength for me. I hope it can do the same for you.
Bata is a family-owned global footwear and fashion accessory manufacturer. It is known as one of the largest shoe manufacturing companies in the world
The Baťa Shoe Company was founded on the 24th of August 1894 in Zlín (Moravia, today known as Czech Republic) by Tomáš Baťa and his other two siblings. The Bata family were initially ordinary people who did ordinary things for a living, such as making shoes. History has it that they had been cobblers for generations. In the beginning stages of the company, 10 full-time employees were hired for a regular weekly wage.
In 1895, Tomáš found himself facing financial difficulties, and debts increased. To overcome these serious setbacks, Tomáš decided that instead of making leather shoes, which was the normal footwear at the time, he would sew shoes from canvas. This type of shoe became very popular and helped the company grow from 10 to 50 employees.
At such a low point in the business you might feel tempted to close down or sell it and pay your depts. But remember getting this far in any business takes manpower, time and money, all of which you have already invested in your existing business. You have to be absolutely sure that there is no future for the business if you want to call it quits. When facing financial problems, do not give up. There are other solutions. Find those solutions and fix the dent. There are always other alternatives, such as: selling cheaper and accessible products or sell different products. You may also decide to find an investor, sell a percentage of your shares or even go into a suitable partnership.
In the global economic decline that followed World War I, the country Czechoslovakia was particularly hit hard. With its currency devalued by 75%, demand for products dropped, production was cut back and employment rate dropped tremendously. Tomáš Baťa responded to the crisis by cutting the price of Bata shoes in half. The company’s workers agreed to a temporary 40 percent reduction in wages; in turn, Bata provided food, clothing, and other necessities at half-price. He also introduced one of the first profit-sharing initiatives, transforming all employees into associates with a shared interest in the company’s success.
Situations beyond your control can push you off balance sometimes. It seems almost impossible to recover from a setback like this. However, the ups and downs in a business are inevitable. Do not turn your back on a crisis.
Team Building Is the Most Important Investment for Companies
Invest in your team. Your team has played a significant role to get your business to this critical point. Now, more than ever, you need to transform your staff into an asset. Your employees have to understand your business model and the business itself. They must believe that they are stakeholders and an active part of the business. Never underestimate the will power of a determined group. Employees like these should be valued.
Later, Bata began to build in towns and factories outside of Czechoslovakia (Poland, Latvia, Romania, Switzerland, France) and began to diversify and grow into large industries. Company policy initiated under Tomáš Baťa was to set up villages around the factories for the workers and to supply schools and welfare. These villages include Batadorp in the Netherlands, Baťov (now Bahňák) in the Czech Republic, Batapur in Pakistan and Batanagar and Bataganj in India (near Calcutta) and many more.
Do not give up on your dreams, they may just come true. Keep moving forward. Who knows you might end up having a Bata ever after too.
About the Author
Shamilah Firdausi, (Writer & Scholar, Cape Town, South Africa)