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Entrepreneurs Are Succeeding With These Business Strategies.

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Successful business strategies can span from business documents that attract investors to legitimate practices that result to a significant leap for the organization. Employing a great CEO is one of such strategies. Ram Charan on Harvard Business Review explains that a CEO with the Pivot is a sure game-changer. Charan defined the pivot as a strand of two or three capabilities that are tightly interwoven and required for the CEO to succeed. He stressed that each situation is distinct, and so is each CEO’s job pivot. The likes of Steve Jobs and Lou Gerstner had such pivots when they took over at Apple and IBM respectively to bring about the spontaneous growth recorded during their time. Gerstner moved IBM from $8b loss to $3b profit while Apple rose to the most valuable company under Jobs. Kudos to the board of directors of their respective firms who were able to define the pivots. So company heads should work twice as hard to get the Pivot. That is where the streak of success starts.

A viable business venture is another game changer. Mark Zuckerberg was turned down by investors including venture capitalist, Michael Greeley who thought Mark’s idea was still unclear as at the timing. In what sense was Mark’s idea unclear, did the numbers not add up? According to Howard Anderson, co-founder of Battery Ventures, part of the reason Facebook didn’t find funding in Boston, was because many didn’t grasp its significance (Times of India, 2011). The point is clear – you need to get your act together first, from verified and validated survey results to a well-crafted plan. Such an analysis must include the strategies to control all foreseeable issues including the necessary reserves to cushion the effect of drawbacks should the risks show up.

Suggestions from business experts can also help organizations to succeed. Consider Neil Kokemuller’s position on Chron, that market orientation, target marketing, product diversification, and brand and price integrity cause revenue to increase steadily.

A deep dive into these factors, starting with market orientation puts the customer first. This is evident in Steve Job’s statement in retrospect while addressing a question from an Apple staff. “And one of the things I've always found is that you've got to start with the customer experience and work backward to the technology. You can't start with the technology and try to figure out where you're going to try to sell it." Steve said. Apple is doing great today even after Steve because it focused on the customer-first policy.

Then, target marketing, come to think of it, why spend on non-productive areas when business analytics can unveil hot spots that drive patronage. Target marketing validates Anthony Tropea’s article on Forbes titled Four Ways Location Affects Profit. Where he mentioned that the right location brings traffic, retains existing clients, is close to suppliers, and has easy access to the required skillset.

The right location attracts a large customer base to your organization just as it creates the right sort of talent to make the business successful. Besides, it helps you in establishing a brand and image since it is placed in the middle of a city/place that carries a business reputation (Inc Outlook, 2020), that’s it.

As for product diversification, it is a function of customer preference as already discussed because a business has to diversify into lucrative areas, that satisfy customer needs. What about brand and price integrity? They both sum up to quality put simply but how? Quality affects the factors of production that determine price, and brand positioning relates to pricing. According to Quality Magazine, the main goal of quality improvement is improved profitability. Better quality reduces manufacturing costs due to lower scrap levels, less rework, and reduced raw material costs. It also increases customer satisfaction because of the quality level itself and faster deliveries, thereby increasing demand. For these reasons, high quality can provide a competitive advantage (Quality Magazine, 2007). How does this relate to pricing? The main explanation for the differences observed in selling prices and cost structures of competing value systems lay not in the interface costs between value chains such as logistics, as expected, nor only in advertising costs, but in the internal costs of individual value system members. In particular, the internal costs of brand manufactures are shown to be the main source of their cost disadvantage against own brands (Davies et al, 2004). When you get quality right, you secure customer loyalty. Here is the take – work on your internal cost structure to achieve quality, then create a quality policy to sustain quality, and you will be in for real business.

Wait a minute; have you considered keeping only humble and honest employees? Laura Walter writes on EHSToday that a Baylor University study conducted in 2011 validates the honesty-humility personality trait as a unique predictor of job performance, meaning that there is a direct relationship between honesty and humility, on one side and the job performance of an employee on the other. “In fact, we found that humility and honesty not only correspond with job performance but predicted job performance above and beyond any of the other five personality traits like agreeableness and conscientiousness”-Dr. Wade Rowatt, Associate Professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor, Walter writes.

Let us consider the success story of Chinedu Okorafor in Africa’s business hub, Lagos, as reported by Joseph Osemegbe Aito on the online media, How we made it in Africa. According to Joseph, the major leap for Chinedu was born when he added 12 young men to his team that increased his profit by at least 30%. Numbers could make the difference, all things being equal. In the case of Chinedu, he had to provide accommodation, and routinely organize dinner for his team to keep them committed.

Competitive remuneration is a game-changer. Amazon set its minimum wage at $15, more than 50% of the Federal minimum wage in America. According to Jeff Bezos, the decision was made to lead on wages not to run with the pack, but guess what? That move helped propel Amazon’s expansion, Dominick Reuter writes on Business Insider. On that note, Stephanie Pugliese, President of America's region at Under Armour noted the impact of Amazon's compensation package termed the Amazon effect on the local labor market when she told Bloomberg that hiring has become more competitive having to contend with the likes of Amazon.

Thus, humble and honest employees may achieve great results, but for how long can they cope without a competitive remuneration?

Up next is technology. Philip Cohen writes on SocialMediaToday about technologies that companies are leveraging to increase profit. Cohen points out that Yale reported saving a whopping $100,000 by going paperless in their student employment office. Other benefits of technology, Cohen enumerated include big & remote (cloud) data storage, internet of things (processing speed), automated social media marketing, mobile financial services, and efficient mobile applications. These are the Game Changes in business because they bring in efficiency and increased profitability. Also, with the right technology businesses can uncover profit centers and opportunities to be assigned organization’s scarce resources. Embrace technology, and you are good to go.

Here is another point employers should embrace – employee involvement in decision-making. This practice as Sarah Short writes on Face2Face HR, can have as many positive effects as possible including increased employee morale, improved productivity, improved sense of ownership, teamwork, and finally, according to Sarah, employees become more resourceful when they are given a sense of belonging by voluntarily identifying useful alternative solutions to problems. A behavior that could save an organization substantial cost.

“Our biggest mistake was betting too much on HTML5”-Mark Zuckerberg. The new iOS app was “really cool stuff” that will probably have monetization in mind, as it’s clear that mobile is the path to ad revenue for the company -Mark Zuckerberg. This came on the heels that people were consuming twice as many feed stories since the update to the new iOS app. What’s the point here - find out your business’ biggest mistake and eliminate it ASAP. They are those elements in your value chain that make no economic sense.

Lastly, making the right equity investment decision. Again, the renowned venture capitalist, Michael Greeley, seven years after he and his team turned down Facebook’s investment request, expressed regret over their decision because Facebook turned out to be a missed opportunity. In Greeley’s words; the decision actually set Boston-area investing community back by a few years. Also, Scott Tobin, partner at Battery Ventures, in an interview with Bloomberg stated “in retrospect, had we made that investment, yeah, it would have been great. I would have been on the cover of Forbes magazine with Oprah; it’s the biggest fish that ever got away.” Don’t let your next gold mine slip through your fingers because that could be your only chance to be on the cover page of Forbes magazine – the Game Changer.

Do not hang up yet; I got this one as a parting gift - influencer marketing. Have you considered something spontaneous with an influential personality that is not the regular advert? It wasn't planned, it was just his instinct playing out when Cristiano Ronaldo bled $4bn out of long-time giant, Coca-Cola by replacing 2 Coca-Cola bottles with a bottle of water in disapproval of Coke before a press conference during the 2020 Euro football competition. Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, and many others have influenced investor behavior on different occasions. For instance, Katie Shepherd writes in the Washington Post that the value of Bitcoin suddenly dipped wiping off billions from the cryptocurrency market because of a tweet from the Automobile big fish endorsing Tesla’s U-turn on bitcoin payment for its cars.


References

Kokemuller N. (n.d.) Factors that Cause Revenue to Consistently Increase Chron https://smallbusiness.chron.com/factors-cause-revenue-consistently-increase-80407.html

Tropea A. (2019, December 13) Four Ways Location Affects Profit. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2019/12/13/four-ways-location-affects-profits/?sh=6880057685a8

Bariso J. (n.d.) 20 Years Ago, Steve Jobs Demonstrated the Perfect Way to Respond to an InsultInc.https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/20-years-ago-steve-jobs-demonstrated-the-perfect-w.html

Inc Outlook (2020, March 11).Is Location a Key Factor for the Success of Your Business?Inc Outlook. https://www.incoutlook.com/2020/03/11/is-location-a-key-factor-for-the-success-of-your-business/

Aito J. O. (2020, February 10). The Lagos hawker who makes one million Nigerian naira monthly. How we made it in Africa. https://www.howwemadeitinafrica.com/the-lagos-hawker-who-makes-one-million-nigerian-naira-monthly/64114/

Reuter D. (2021, June 07). Levi's CEO says Amazon's '$20 an hour' wages are forcing the jeans maker to rethink worker pay amid the tight labor market. Business Insider Africa. https://africa.businessinsider.com/retail/levis-ceo-says-amazons-dollar20-an-hour-wages-are-forcing-the-jeans-maker-to-rethink/8phx4gl

Davies, G. and Brito, E.(2004), "Price and quality competition between brands and own brands: A value systems perspective",European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 38 No. 1/2, pp. 30 55. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560410511113 BNP Media Staff (2007, November 21).Maximize Quality Profits.Quality Magazine. https://www.qualitymag.com/articles/85178-maximize-quality-profits

Cohen P. (2014, January 11). 7 Technologies Companies Are Using to Increase Their Profits. SocialMediaToday. https://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/7-technologies-companies-are-using-increase-their-profits

Walter L. (2011, March 16). Honest, Humble Workers Associated with Higher Job Performance. EHSToday. https://www.ehstoday.com/health/article/21911910/honest-humble-workers-associated-with-higher-job-performance

Olanoff D. (2012, September 11) Mark Zuckerberg: Our biggest mistake was betting too much on HTML5Techcrunch https//www.google.com/amp/s/techcrunch.com/2012/09/11/mark-zuckerberg-our-biggest-mistake-with-mobile-was-betting-too-much-on-html5/amp/

Times Of India. (2011, July 08). Rejecting Facebook CEO still haunts Boston VCs.https://m.timesofindia.com/tech-news/rejecting-facebook-ceo-still-haunts-boston-vcs/articleshow/9147437.cms

Neagle C. (n.d.). In Pictures: 15 people who said no to Facebook. ARN. https://www.arnnet.com.au/slideshow/441165/pictures-15-people-who-said-no-facebook/

Short S. (2017, February, 20). Why Should I Involve My Employees in Decision-Making?Face2FaceHR. https://face2facehr.com/i-involve-employees-decision-making/

Staff Writers (2021, June 17). Cristiano Ronaldo wipes Billions off Coca Cola shares after removing bottles from press conference table.THE AUSTRALIAN.https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/cristiano-ronaldo-wipes-billions-off-coke-shares-after-removing-bottles-from-press-conference-table/news-story/3dbefc70e9e7334fa8acf5cd4b2ce25

Dsouza A. (2021, June 17). Cristiano Ronaldo Did Not Influence Coca-Cola Share Price,Plummet Began Before Presser. REPUBLICWORLD.COM. https://www.republicworld.com/sports-news/football-news/cristiano-ronaldo-did-not-influence-coca-cola-share-price-plummet-began-before-presser.html

Charan R. (2016, December). The Secrets of Great CEO Selection. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2016/12/the-secrets-of-great-ceo-selection

Shepherd K. (2021, May 13). Tesla stops accepting bitcoin, citing ‘great cost to the environment.’ The cryptocurrency’s value sank.The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/05/13/bitcoin-tesla-elon-musk-climate/



This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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