The really successful, globally recognized brands aren’t finding their way into people’s lives simply because they’re so big. They are what they are because the people running them are dedicated to making their company work, and because the systems and strategies they use are properly planned and efficiently employed. These businesses aren’t world class because they’re big hitters. They’re big hitters because they’re world class.
The journey to location-defying significance begins in the mind. Entrepreneurs who hope to construct a world-beating giant out of a humble bedroom startup should understand that such an ambition is achieved by the shedding of much sweat, and some tears as well. Storms must be ridden through, mountains scaled, and many dear things sacrificed. It takes a world class mentality- skillfulness and foresight in planning, and disciplined execution -to make a venture outstandingly successful.
It’s not just about hard work; if great effort is expended in the wrong direction or on a defective strategy, then it’s not likely to yield anything worthy of note (apart from losses). Here, we’ll reel out other things that renowned market leaders have done (and still do) to build a public image of excellence and remain on top of the perking order of high achievers.
- Ascertain conviction
Entrepreneurs are usually cautioned to make sure they really believe in the business they’re building. That’s good advice. But it may be that what is needed is something much deeper- Conviction. It’s not enough to just “believe” in a thing; this is especially the case when the thing that’s being believed in isn’t subjected to scrutiny to determine how valuable it is. Conviction is belief strengthened by a strong basis- and in this case, it’s preferable that the basis be facts about the value that the venture is likely to add to people’s lives, as well as its potential profitability.
Achenyo Idachaba, founder of the social enterprise MitiMeth came up with an innovative way of creating commercial products from invasive water hyacinths. She points out that her line of business, novel as it is, isn’t for the faint-hearted. But she was convinced that turning an environmental problem into an economic opportunity was a worthy cause. Her business, which is the result of her decision to pursue this trail, has attracted a great deal of attention locally and internationally.
“You have to be a person of deep conviction,” she says, in response to a question posed to her about her motivation, in an interview with the BBC. “There’ll be ups and downs, and if you’re not a person of conviction, it’s very easy (for you) to get swayed or discouraged.”
- Detailed planning and smart execution
First off, you can’t have a realistic, workable plan without having a vision which necessitates it in the first place. It’s important for businesses to have a clear idea of what they exist to achieve. The description of this goal should include quantitative qualifications. Many modern businesses, for instance, have a clearly stated mission of accomplishing set goals such as becoming the leading provider of a service in Nigeria or on the African continent. Some also include time frames within which these goals are to be achieved. The point of making such clear statements of intent is that they serve as targets which the companies can aim at. These mission statements provide a sense of focus and direction for businesses and make them able to properly channel their efforts and resources to activities and projects that would aid organizational growth and progress.
Calibrated visions can (and should) also be broken down into steps which could serve as short-term targets. It’s probably impossible for modern businesses to hit their long-term targets if they do not approach them on a step-by-step basis. The fast-paced nature of contemporary business and life (and the distractions that come with it), as well as the development of complex organizational structures within businesses, makes it all but necessary for companies to adopt this approach to achieving their aims.
You’ll often find the CEOs of bigger companies talking about the importance of systems and processes to the execution of their business goals. But this is also true for smaller enterprises. A business’s internal processes and systems (for production, communication or any other aspect) should be structured in ways that encourage productivity and high performance.
- Study trends and stay ahead of the curve
Some businesses seem content with reacting to new market trends or closely trailing their competitors, trying to match their moves. World class businesses do something different: they set the pace, or at least come up with better versions of existing products and services.
Consider Samsung and Apple, the world’s biggest smartphone producers. Their product offerings are trend-setting, and there’s always an air of excitement about the wait leading up to their announcements on new products. Their innovations are usually templates for most other smartphone producers to build their products around. What Apple and Samsung are doing- which a lot of others aren’t -is setting the trend for their market. They’re able to do this because the people running them can see what new technological capabilities are available, and how those new innovations can be integrated into (or applied in) the new products for the market.
For the “regular business” seeking to grow into an outstanding player in an industry, the key to getting ahead of the curve is having an understanding of what new customer needs are cropping up, or finding more efficient ways of meeting older ones.
- Strong values
Every company that has attained world-class status has been (and is) manned by people who possess strong personal values and work ethic. They are able to transfer these values to their companies by insisting upon a corporate culture that mirrors their beliefs. Employees who share these values are more likely to stay on at these companies (other factors held constant) and work towards its organizational goals.
There has never been a world class business lacking a good deal of workers with a world class attitude to work. An entrepreneur has a greater chance of building a high performing business if he or she is inclined towards high achievement.