If you missed our recent Livestream featuring Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara and ZoneofGenius.com founder Ramon Ray, don’t worry!
This article will provide a general overview of the livestream by hitting the main highlights of their conversation: Why are we in business, the three challenges of starting a business, and how to build a business that serves you.
Ramon Ray is a leading expert on personal branding and small business growth. He is a serial entrepreneur who has started five businesses and sold three. He is unapologetically himself, with an undeniable positive attitude and a passion for entrepreneurship.
Let’s get started!
Why Are We in Business?
If someone asks you why you were starting your business or what you hope to achieve with your business, and your only answer is money, chances are it will only end up somewhat successful. If you are operating purely on the motivation of a high profit, you may end up cutting corners and not be an excellent business owner. Jon states that we “are not on this planet to make money. We are on the planet to make memories out of moments. I think we are on this planet to grow and that the best way to grow is by helping other people grow.“
Jon and Ramon believe that the foundation of business and long-term success is tightly connected to the quality of deep pay-it-forward relationships you’ve built and nurtured, combined with The Three P’s – Your Passion, Plan, and Purpose in Life”. Ramon describes businesses as “a vehicle to impact and serve others.“ Once your business is established, and you are no longer in “survival mode,” you can start contributing to the small business community and offering to help others.
So, how do you start building impactful relationships?
Ramon follows the principle of “ask for a smile before you ask for a sale,” meaning you should always consider and prioritize what will make your client happy. Get to know who they are, learn about their personal life, and act in their genuine best interest, even if it means something other than a sale for your business.
When you do this, you start to build close intimate relationships that operate on complete trust. Once you have their confidence, they will begin to be more open about their needs as a consumer.
Even if that client never buys from you, they will talk about you. Once people start talking about you, that is where business growth begins to happen.
The Three Challenges of Starting a Business
The first challenge Ramon describes in starting a business is being a leader. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you, as the leader, are responsible for hiring a good team. You need the right people to help your business grow and scale effectively.
The second challenge in starting a business that Ramon highlights is identifying your strengths and weaknesses and playing off that. You need to be able to look at yourself and your qualities objectively to determine what you can lead and handle on your own. When you accurately identify your weaknesses, you can fill in those incompetencies by hiring people who excel in that area.
Finally, arguably the most challenging part is having the mindset for business growth and success. As you are growing a business, it will take work. You will not always have the answers you need. You need to have a can-do attitude with a drive to push yourself to overcome any obstacle that may come your way.
One of those obstacles that you will encounter as a small business owner is the amount of sacrifice you will have to make, which Ramon describes as “the seasons for more business and less family.” There will be times when you have to isolate yourself from your family for long periods to grow your business. Likewise, there will be times when you will need to be able to reject a business opportunity for the sake of your personal life and obligations.
How to Build a Business That Serves You
When you start your business and plan on running everything yourself, your business is not serving you but owning you. Ramon states that your small business should operate like a flywheel to prevent this.
Building your business like a flywheel means needing a good team, solid business processes, systems on top of those processes, operation manuals, and staying in touch with your clients. When these standards are set in place and all the business pieces start moving, your business can eventually begin to operate like a machine that does not depend on your presence.
When your business operates like a flywheel, it starts being consistent, which leaves you free to be a future-facing leader, so you can start planning and thinking about where you want your business to go and how to get there. Consistency within your business also frees you to relax and take some time off when necessary.
This article only scratches the surface of the insights into the intricacies of entrepreneurship and starting a small business provided by Ramon. To get the whole experience, you can view the full Livestream here. You can also follow Ramon Ray here and Jon Ferrara here.
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