Many entrepreneurs have managed to develop their business in competitive fields of activity. Although it was not always easy to implement, their approach made it possible to revitalize an existing market, to develop differently or to improve somewhat outdated management.
What are the keys to their success? What are the difficulties they encountered during the development of their company. And above all, what advice can they provide to managers, buyers and creators?
Knowing your sector of activity is an asset!
For many leaders who have managed to develop their business, knowing their sector well is an asset. Ways of doing things differ from one sector to another and are not always transferable or adaptable. The experience acquired while exercising a profession makes it possible to identify the habits and codes linked to the sector concerned.
When you master the sector in which you operate, you can work on a new concept, revolutionize uses, adapt certain operating modes (disrupt to use a fashionable word) without breaking the basic codes related to the ‘activity. The ideas, the projections fit more easily into the mould, they are stamped with a professional realism which contributes to their credibility.
Sometimes, when a new concept or an innovation is the basis of the reflection, knowing the sector makes it possible to spread the risks thanks to its address book. Some customers agree to wipe the plaster to benefit from an attractive price or be the first to observe productivity gains. Sometimes it is the suppliers who play the game to ensure new outlets
. Many creators have left a salaried job in a specific sector to create or take over an activity in another completely different sector and have been successful. It is less common and requires a certain ability to adapt. Most of the time this decision reflects a strong and particular motivation (desire to undertake, return to nature, childhood dream…).
Rely on a rigorous business plan
The success of a project is generally based on significant preparation and management work. Often, the creators who carry out a precise business plan prepare at the same time the launch of the future company.
Refining a business plan allows you to prepare for the future management of the project. For example, it offers the opportunity to negotiate with future customers and/or partners, which facilitates the launch. Thus, at the time of its creation, the company already has a client and a certain turnover. Even better, it has already benefited from some feedback and has been able to adapt its products, services or certain features accordingly.
A well-worked business plan reveals the qualities of the project, it allows its reader to identify precisely the added value that the project will bring to customers. It helps to build an intelligent and adapted business model that will help convince investors. Because to succeed, you have to be able to support and defend the project at each of the stages it has to go through.
All economic sectors are affected by the digital revolution, preparing your project allows you to have time to observe the structural changes taking place in the target sector of activity. A good observation allows for example to optimize certain procedures to, in the end, gain in competitiveness.
Finally, making a rigorous business plan often requires being accompanied by preparing your project within an incubator or by finding an effective coach (CCI, BGE, etc.). It is an often beneficial aid that allows creators to work on different approaches to their native skills. For example, a less technical and more functional approach for a developer, more attention paid to the business than to the product for an engineer.
Know how to take measured financial risks
Taking risks boosts the will to succeed. Thus, creators who have invested their savings or the fruit of the sale of an asset know what risk means. They also know that to win you have to move forward and that dithering does not help decisions move forward. Wanderings, mistakes, are part of the learning process. Who could claim to have learned to walk without falling and bumping? Although it is unpleasant (baby cries know how to remind us of this), error is important, it is even indispensable in the sense that it gives value to things (success, effort, will, savings…). It even influences the future values of the company that the leader will instil.
Developing a business while sitting comfortably in your chair is a misconception, as is developing it by proxy. Many leaders bet large sums (in view of their possibilities), pay themselves a modest salary or even zero and work a lot for the success of their project, without any guarantee of success. This often beneficial risk-taking deserves to be recognized and respected, whatever the outcome of the project.