Top Tips for Business Success

The fast-paced modern business world is replete with advice on how to move forward, but it can be a daunting task to separate the good from the bad. Sometimes, however, it is best to listen to the advice of those entrepreneurs that have made it.

Look no further than Jean-Pierre Prinsloo, founder and CEO of the popular event-planning company Prifactor, who has handy advice for young entrepreneurs.

Take Risks

Prinsloo espouses the thinking of Søren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher who said: “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.” He was not wrong – the concept of risk has become synonymous with business and the first thing many people think of when they hear the term “entrepreneur”.

Jean-Pierre Prinsloo, with an analogous interpretation of risk, fervently agrees with Kierkegaard and believes that this philosophy should not only be applied to personal life, but more also to business life.

“Risk is the backbone of business. If we didn’t take risks, we would be sitting in our comfort zones all day long – and no one accomplishes anything from inside their comfort zone. You may fall short when you take the leap of faith, but that way you learn to jump further next time. You find out what it takes to succeed, and before you know it, you will.”

Keep an idea journal

Ideas are the seed of any successful endeavour. Fortunately, ideas are inside all of us and it is one of the lowest maintenance assets. The problem? You have to act on it – and it’s easy to forget the idea altogether. Prinsloo recommends keeping a journal.

“Take a quick look at some of the most successful and influential people in the world and you will find that most of them work relentlessly to keep their journals updated. This is because they know that any one of their tiniest, most fleeting ideas could end up to be worth millions.”

Be open to advice

When JP started his company, Prifactor, he did not take it on himself to get everything perfect on his own. Sticking to Richard Branson’s tip: “delegate, delegate, delegate,” he resolved to keep an open mind concerning advice from others and not shoot them down too eagerly.

“Although advice can come forth as criticism, it is important not to take it personally and to rather consider your peers’ guidance,” Prinsloo says. “Maybe their ideas are worth something, and maybe they’re not – the only way to find out is to keep an open mind and to listen to what they’re saying.”

Project a positive business image

Brands survive on image: it’s the tool that keeps them uppermost in the minds of their customers. The brand of a business can usually be projected to the world in the form of a logo, displayed in various forms of marketing campaigns, but much of the weight of the image of a business falls on you, as an entrepreneur and the owner.

“One reason why well-established entrepreneurs continuously talk about what a big commitment a business is, is that they often carry the burden of displaying a positive business image. In the modern world of social media and information being relayed at light-speed, it is essential to retain this positive image,” notes Prinsloo. “People can start seeing you as the business, and so it’s vital not to drag your business under the bus.”

Build relationships with your customers

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest sources of learning.” These are the words of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, teaching us the importance of ensuring customer satisfaction – and the importance is noteworthy indeed, as Gates stays true to the fact that customer satisfaction is an indication of where your business is heading.

But Prinsloo insists that there is more to it. “Except for customer satisfaction showing where your company is headed, it allows you to build lasting relationships with them. Having good relationships with your clients not only provides feedback for your products and services; it also allows you to show that you care about their desires. In the modern world of getting things done as quickly as possible, clients yearn for companies who really care about their needs.”

Use technology

A mistake many entrepreneurs continuously make is to stubbornly stick to the same technology. People get used to a certain system, then they refuse to get the updated, better version because that would mean changing their company’s operational system.

In a few cases this argument is viable, but Prinsloo raises his voice along with the cacophony of entrepreneurs who plead for the implementation of modern technology, such as smartphones and digital equipment.

“Using the modern technology at our disposal allows for much better communication, mobility and efficiency. You get so much more done, but you also get more feedback from your clients that way to find out what really needs to be done,” advises JP.