When it comes to doing business, there is a distinct air of possibility that can be really intoxicating. When you think of business owners like Jeff Bezos, it’s hard not to think about how and, more importantly, if you can achieve that same level of success in your own business. However, that’s nothing if not a long shot, and you’ll need to be present in the moment in order to survive, let alone create a multi billion dollar corporation. Here’s what you need to know about becoming the best of the best one step at a time.
A business like Amazon is what one might call a unicorn business, meaning that it is so exceptional as to be comparable to a mythical creature. However, there’s nothing mystical or magical about it, and you can trace a logistical throughline through the company’s history in order to determine how they achieved the success that they have. It starts with providing a product and/or service that serves as the answer to a heretofore unsolved problem. Amazon, for example, has provided the online equivalent of a supermarket, and that kind of innovation was both incredibly novel and seemed painfully obvious in retrospect.
When drafting your business plan, you’ll need to solve a similar puzzle if you want to achieve unicorn status for yourself, because even the best retailer in a technical sense will inevitably hit an impassible ceiling without an out of this world idea at its core. Finding a niche in which you, and you alone, can profit is generally a sound strategy, but it’s also a high bar that needs to be cleared if you’re shooting for the moon.
In order to put your business plan into action, you’re going to need capital, and this will serve as a major barrier to entry for some. It also funds your company’s payroll system. Starting a business is necessarily prohibitively expensive, meaning that you’ll need to secure funding from a third party. This usually takes the form of a business loan or a private investment, and these things are achievable without being able to be taken for granted. Before a bank or an investor will be willing to put their money into your cause, you’ll have to provide evidence that your business plan is sound, because your benefactor will need a reasonable amount of assurance that your business will provide a return on their investments.
Once you have a business plan in hand, you’ll need to master the art of the pitch, because even a competent plan can be rendered unimpressive by a faulty presentation. This starts with the development of the necessary social skills, but you also can’t neglect the importance of being able to express your ideas from multiple perspectives. You’ll want to explain your business idea in simplistic terms for the sake of a general audience, but you’ll also need to anticipate and respond to questions that necessitate a greater attention to detail.
Amazon wasn’t always the juggernaut that it is today, and it may have never achieved that success under its original business model. Amazon started out as an online book retailer, and that kind of specialization runs counter to their current, more successful approach. The original mission statement of Amazon was a perfectly sufficient one that provided plenty of financial success, but it’s truly the ability to change in tandem with an evolving commercial landscape that made them the third most successful company in the world. Amazon has become the de facto online retailer for all purpose shopping, but it took some crucial pivoting in order to get there.
Likewise, you’ll bring a certain business model to the table when it comes time to open your doors. If you’ve done things right, your plan includes a certain X factor that can hopefully make you indispensable among consumers, but that still leaves room for improvement as circumstances change within and without your company. Business strategy is often a balancing act, because you need to be able to fully commit to your business model while accepting the necessity for change when and if it occurs.
No discussion of commerce is complete without paying lip service to marketing. Marketing is the primary means by which you can sell a product, or even your brand itself, and investing in quality marketing is non negotiable. Hiring a marketing agency is essential, because homebrewed marketing is so of itself that it tends to engender the “so bad it’s good” mentality rather than driving an increase in brand recognition and loyalty. It’s important to note that most of marketing is the creation and proliferation of a brand identity, something that can humanize a company and make it appealing to consumers. This kind of identity is often best born from the individuality of the business’s owner, but this isn’t always the case. In any event, a marketing agency specializes in providing you with these ideas or helping you to refine your own.