As a business owner trying to make sense of all the uncertainty and survive, I have attended a lot of webinars and garnered so much information in the last couple of weeks. There is so much to unravel and think about. I have gone through the maze of all the information and I have realized that times might change and methods of doing things might evolve, but the core of who we are as humans and what really matters still remains the same.
I have come up with five rules of doing businesses in this new world. Some are things you already know and the others are a new perspective of looking at things that might or might not be obvious.
Solve real world problems
After weeks of global lockdown, a lot of people have emerged with a renewed sense of priority. Businesses that were just ‘nice to have’ have either collapsed or found ways to quickly pivot because it has become glaring that when it comes down to the basics, people’s needs are simple.
As you build or re-build your business in this new world, make sure you are solving a real world problem. Real world problems are glaring; you just need to look around your environment or even look inwards at yourself to see what really matters to you.
Build things that people love
It is one thing to solve a real world problem, but it’s more tangible to solve it by building things people love. Innovation is extremely important in the new world because people are now open to doing things in new ways and would continue to prioritize their health, safety and convenience in making buying decisions.
In creating Rouzo, our new lending market place platform at Owoafara, it was fundamental for us to build a product that was simple to use, straight forward to understand and beautiful to experience. The aim was to solve a real world problem of helping people build wealth and get returns while still making impact, as well as create a product they will enjoy using.
This should be your approach as a business in creating your products or services.
Leverage the power of networks
I love watching ants work together to get food. They are some of the most organized creatures I have seen. They do not let their small size stop them from aiming at a big piece of food. Instead they organize an army that deliberately gathers food in a methodical manner.
In these times, your network is extremely important to your survival as a business owner. It is not the time to focus on competing with your industry colleagues, it is actually the time to form bands and work together to leverage the power of your numbers to survive.
I joined a meeting a few weeks ago with the association of natural hair stylists, organized by my past client. In that meeting, I encouraged them to come together as a group and get organized. I told them that we would be more open to financing their businesses with the backing of a group than as individuals. From building wealth, to negotiating with stakeholders, leveraging the power of networks will give you more upsides in these times.
Become impact focused
Why do you do what you do? This is a fundamental question that will become more important now than ever before. The pandemic has taught us that money and power cannot save you. I believe it has made us examine what the real meaning of our life and existence is.
As a business owner or a professional, in today’s world, capitalism has to be balanced with impact. You should create wealth not for wealth sake or just for personal comfort. Your goal in building a successful business or growing your wealth should have an impact focus because the real meaning of life is to live a life of meaning.
When you are focused on creating impact, you will truly live and build a legacy that would, most likely, outlive you. That’s why when we were creating Rouzo, we decided that our tagline would be Returns + Impact. Because making money and making a difference should be the ultimate goal.
Lead with empathy
I am quite a driven and self-motivated person. My friend was teasing me the other day that I was very competitive. I laughed and told her that I actually don’t compete with anyone, I am just always aiming to better my best – which is true. However in leading people, I have learned that no matter your goals and ambitions, you can’t be a good leader if you don’t have empathy.
The age long quote “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” rings true. When you build your business and life from a place of empathy, you truly win the hearts of people. When your customers know you care about them and your team knows you care about them, no matter the challenges you face, they will be more willing to stand by you.
If you notice, my 5 rules turn the focus from you to others. I believe this is how sustainable organizations would be built in these times.
I am also building such organization so I share from my own journey. I also want to help people build wealth intentionally while making an impact and I will be hosting a webinar series to share my system. You can register here.