Pitfalls and Bridges to Business Success
As most of you will know, I was fortunate enough to be born on, and grow up on our family farm in the village of Wyke Champflower in Somerset. Being born into a farming business meant being taken to the local livestock markets with my father and brother who regularly attended them to buy and sell. It was these visits and watching the buyers and sellers going about their business that first triggered my interest in just that. Business I mean, watching the market forces of supply and demand at work was absolutely fascinating for me and I became hooked on wanting to become an accomplished business person.
There are very few better places to learn about the rules of a fluctuating market economy than a livestock market on a busy day. It was so evident that on a day when many buyers were present demand was very brisk and the sellers were more likely to achieve higher prices for their animals and produce. The opposite was true on the days when fewer buyers were present and more sellers were offering their animals and produce; the demand was reduced and the sellers struggled to maintain a decent price. I became so fascinated with market forces that I knew that I would strive to become a successful business person via the farm that I was born on.
Funnily enough the basic rules of business have changed very little since those times; we must produce a high quality product or service that can be sold into a market, at a price people are prepared to pay. Much easier said than done! The pitfalls and bridges to success or failure along the way are many, and rely on good judgement and the will to make something better than the prevailing competition can produce. A deep understanding of ‘selling’ is crucial and has to become part of one’s personality.
You may be thinking that this all sounds just too difficult, and you’d probably be right, but for me, this is exactly what makes business so fascinating; so many different skills are needed to succeed, along with a flexible mindset and a positive attitude. I enjoyed learning these skills and I was lucky enough to visit many successful business people along the way and learn so much from them. I recognised this was priceless knowledge and used it to put into practice.
My advice to anyone starting out in business now would be to start small and don’t be too ambitious to begin with, the time for growth will come. Be patient, learn from any successful business people that you can; their knowledge will be priceless. Always remember to do your market research, and then do some more. Don’t just make a product because you like it, it may be too difficult to sell. Do even more market research and then if you can produce it at a price that sells with a profit, just go for it!
While in business, always be a person that your customers will trust implicitly, never break your word. If you do a deal that is subsequently unprofitable, stand by it and take the loss on the the chin, to do otherwise would shatter customer trust. Good luck, you will enjoy it so much and meet so many great people along the way, and don’t ever forget you’re good at it!