Jeff Bezos is perhaps one of the richest people in the world today all because he took an idea that he drew up during a cross-country trip from New York to Seattle. He started his fledgling business in his garage once he settled in Seattle and not too long after launched what is now the most successful online shopping network in the world, Amazon. At one point and time the internet was still a thing that received little use and was thought to be only useful for school and other various endeavors. Bezos however took note of its continuing rise and took advantage of its popularity by offering people items for sale that would often go for much less than they could find them in the stores. In short, he took an idea that was worth little if anything and made it into a multi-billion dollar industry. Not bad for a business plan drawn out during a road trip.
10. Have no regrets.
In business you need to be able to go forward without looking back. Everyone has regrets, there’s no doubt that this will happen. In order to be successful an individual needs to be able to press forward and not allow those thoughts to otherwise taint the opportunities that can help them to achieve their goals. Looking back is something you can do when you’ve reached your goal or are otherwise done moving forward, if such a day comes. Until then, regrets cannot be a part of the equation.
9. Follow your heart not your head.
Too often your head will argue that caution is needed, that you must act in a way that will keep you safe and secure. Your heart will tell you to go for it more often than not, relying more on instinct than experience to take charge of life and do what is necessary. In order to strike a proper balance between the two it is often better to lead with the heart and allow the head to operate as it will by adapting and evolving to a continually –changing environment.
8. Invest more in the product than the marketing.
The more you put into your product the more desirable it becomes. You want your customers to keep coming back because your merchandise is top notch, not because your ads are. The ad is only good as the merchandise it is promoting, meaning that if you sell someone a product that is supposed to be absolutely amazing and it turns out to be a flop, your business isn’t going to last for very long. Putting more stock into the product to make certain that it is worth the cost is always going to pull in more customers.
7. Pick a good name.
Many customers want something that flashes out at them and grabs their attention. A lackluster name won’t attract many consumers, and will likely serve to push your product into the dark corner of the retail market where few consumers, if any, ever look. To add some pizzazz to your business you want to settle on a name that will inspire a sense of wonder and interest in your customer and actually get them interested in seeing what you have to sell. If they will bank on your name just enough to take a look, then you might just have a chance.
6. Stand for something.
You don’t have to be a crusader for any one cause, but standing for something such as quality and assurance that your products will always be just what the consumer wants is a good start in business. Your word means a lot when you conduct your own business, and should you be able to stand behind that, then customers will rally to you in order to give you their business. A business that can’t or won’t stand behind its own guarantees is one that is destined for obscurity.
5. Focus on the customer.
You’ve got the product, you have the business, now focus on the most important part that will keep that business running: the customer. Pay attention to their needs, listen to or read their comments, and take into consideration what they want. If they have good feedback that can be used to improve your business then by all means take it and say thank you. The business that ignores its customers while focusing on their profits is one that has no loyalty and therefore is not as reliable to the customer.
4. Focus on your passion.
As with all things you need to have some sense of passion for what you do. In order to really get into what you do and enjoy the process you need to be passionate about what you are doing. Without passion, business becomes rote and mechanical, a process that holds little joy other than the money that is earned and the chance to earn more. In other words it becomes a pointless race to whatever end awaits, a meaningless existence that begins with the sunrise and ends with the sunset each passing day.
3. Build a culture.
Find a way to create something unique. Most businesses simply continue an existing culture, adding to it much as a child would pack snow onto a fort during the winter to stabilize its walls. Don’t just add onto something else, create your own culture by building up a business or something similar that is its own entity. Before Amazon, online purchasing was almost non-existent. Now, legions of consumers would look at you funny if you asked what this service is.
2. Premium products sold at non-premium prices.
Most people would be astounded at how little it really costs to produce their favorite items. Some items are notably expensive because of the process they require to be made, but on the average, many other products are made relatively cheap and then sold from retailers with a severe markup that adds up to a great deal of profit. Amazon works with a great number of retailers to provide the best products available at prices that are often far less than the average retailer.
1. Take a risk.
Sometimes you’ve got to dive in and take the chance that you might fail. The worst thing about any business is that you might inevitably fall down. The good part about this is that you’ve found out what doesn’t work, and that you have only one direction to go. Taking a risk isn’t about failing, but it is about living up to the ideals that business is built upon. In order to get something you’ve never had you have to be willing to do something you’ve never done before. Taking a risk means going all in and hoping for the best while at times expecting the worst.
Success is as fickle a thing as business sometimes, coming easy to some and eluding others no matter how much they try. Expecting to be successful however and actually being successful are usually divided by those who will actually take the risk and pay attention to the consumer and those who are in it just for a profit. It’s very easy to assume which of those categories that Jeff Bezos fits into.
Written by Garrett Parker
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