The statistics of failed businesses is so alarming; the figures would send shivers down your spine as an aspiring entrepreneur gearing up to start a business, or one who is into business already — especially if you’re a startup.

According to a failory report, 137,000 businesses give birth every day but 90% of them fail… If we do the maths, 123,300 fail every day and, in the time you were reading up to here, 85 businesses were probably shut down.

Photo Credit- Kevin Novo

While there may be many reasons for the fast extinction of these business initiatives, some schools of thought believe that many entrepreneurs are unarmed with even the littlest of information or details on business intelligence, the practices, attitudes, characters that make for business success.

To this school of thought, business failure is traced primarily to incompetence.

On the other hand, successful startups seem to know and do something that others who fail don’t know and do.

Starting a business or already running one?
There are basic things to know and below is my list of 8 pillars that will ensure you succeed in business.

I call it ‘my list’ because no resource can claim absolute authority on these kinds of matters. But I’m sure you’ll learn a thing or two.

1. Know what customers want; Solve real problems.

Before venturing into business as an entrepreneur, your choice of business must be targeted at meeting a crucial need or solving a problem. Don’t start a business you have no business starting at all.

Ask yourself a vital question:

What problem does your business intend to solve?

Your business will only attract customers if it is meeting a crucial need.

2. Know your market size

Here, find out the size of your potential customers. Also the no of businesses already in that market.

There are markets you should not venture into at all. You don’t want to venture into a market with few potential customers. Aim for big markets; the larger the market the more the volume of sales and profit you can make.

Similarly, you might want to avoid a market that’s already crowded with competing sellers/service providers. The exception though, is if you have a strategy to topple them as well as the resources to favourably compete.

3. Timing matters

One vital skill both existing and aspiring entrepreneurs need is the ability to carry out a feasibility study and discern when is appropriate to launch newly into a market or to introduce a new product.

Life itself teaches that to everything there is a time and a season.

This ability will help you identify new and uncrowded opportunities you can quickly tap into before other entrepreneurs wake up.


4. Be ever learning

The world is evolving and so is everything. There are new trends and developments daily that you must catch up with as an entrepreneur, hence there is no end to learning.

To stay competitive you must seek new ways of doing what you do.

More so, running a business is beyond just having skill and capital. You need to know about business financing, human resources, basic accounting, etc.

Research is key; surf the net, get books, stay curious, stay evolving.

5. Embrace technology.

The advent of social media networking sites is gradually changing the face of communication, especially public relations and advertising. We are increasingly approaching the age where technology is king and to do almost anything efficiently you would need one or the other device or software and of course the internet, hence there is need to be technologically savvy — or at least to know a little to survive.

The world is on the internet and many times, people live or squat on social media sites, hence it has become a good place to promote your brand. Social networking sites now offer businesses the opportunity to promote their brand using free or paid advertising and get more people aware of their existence — you too should.

Email marketing is also a big minefield even for small businesses, you should explore that too.

6. Deliver real value.

Most consumers will pay any amount when they get quality value.

Everything rises and falls sometimes on your customer service; and this consists of a wide range of issues ranging from your ability to create good rapport with customers, to good and quality service delivery.

Research has shown that satisfied customers can be the most effective form of advertising as customers who get value for their money will likely give your business unsolicited adverts and referrals.

Word of mouth still ranks as a powerful advertising tool because it’s free and provides infinite return on investment (ROI).

On the other hand, disgruntled customers will go to any length to discredit your business.

Mj Demarco is his classic bestseller, The Millionaire Fast lane proposes a model of customer service which he calls S.U.C.S-Superior Unexpected Customer Service. By this he meant, every business must ensure to deliver to their customers more than is promised or expected.

Demarco says when you meet your client’s customer service expectation profile positively ,you turn your customer into loyal disciples of your business.

7. Have a mentor

When trying new roads you need a map. As an entrepreneur, you need a guide. Having a mentor, especially one who has succeeded in your choice path, helps reduce your risk of failing.

The wisdom is; if someone knows what you need to know, and has gotten the results you need to get, why not get their help. The beautiful part is that some of the successful people in your field might just be willing to provide you guidance without a fee if your request is polite and compelling enough.

Also, investing in a business coach is a wise choice.

8. Be diligent and persistent

Every form of success, whether it’s business, relationship, academics, etc., requires some amount of consistency, hard work and persistence in the face of obstacles and seeming impossibilities.

Let the obstacles you face be a propelling wind to your progress rather than allowing it halt your journey; the entrepreneur’s journey is one full of potholes and speed breakers, it could also be a lonely walk, but in the end it’s ultimately rewarding and fulfilling.

So, determine to be among the few businesses that succeed. I see you breaking limits.

Hope this helps.



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