A successful business creates solutions to difficult challenges. An entrepreneur with business acumen and related experience intellectually and practically tackles obstacles and creates an open environment where innovations, employee talents and in-demand products address problems. Companies that are able to translate a creative idea into a realistic business plan to achieve profitability goals follow basic integral steps in order to build a successful business venture.
An idea does not alone make a successful business, an entrepreneur does. The origination of a concept can only turn into reality through the vision and leadership of a strong leader.
It would make sense for this step to be called “raising capital” but reserving capital is also extremely important in the long run to achieve the goals of a business construct. An entrepreneur who has the acuity to reserve capital for possible unanticipated events will be in a better position than one who has simply raised capital only to lose it to unexpected circumstances.
Curation of Talent
Success cannot happen in a vacuum. In order for CEOs to achieve business goals, they should seek the inspired collaboration of talented professionals. The people you hire to help build the foundation of your concept is as important as the structural brick and mortar. Without the right talent, a business will face challenges that should have been anticipated, thereby decreasing the full potential of the company.
Many companies fall into complacency and stagnation. A successful business can often forget its creative inception when there becomes a steady revenue stream. However, revenue does not necessarily equal success. A successful business is built on the continuation of new innovative ideas and a constant stream of momentum, not simply the reliance on the continuation of current revenues and profitability.
Many companies have used these basic principles to achieve great long-term success.
This small business started in a California garage, became an empire, and continues to break new technological barriers. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak originated the business on the popularity and mystique of microchip technology and need for a more robust data systems. Inspired by new microcomputers, though unable to afford the computer CPUs that were available at the time, Wozniak created his own microprocessor to fabricate a computer system.
Wozniak brought his completed project to the Homebrew Computer Club to exhibit his machine to the delight of his old friend Steve Jobs who was in attendance and became extremely interested in commercializing Wozniak’s design.
Utilizing creative methods, from borrowing money and space from friends and family to selling various prized items, Steve Jobs secured technological parts while Steve Wozniak and mutual friend Ronald Wayne assembled the new Apple I. The early computer system featured existing components and new ideas, such as the incorporation of a television as the display system. The computer’s text was displayed at 60 characters per second, which was faster than other systems of that era. Initially, 200 Apple I’s were constructed.
Today, Apple’s annual revenue exceeds $185 billion dollars.
In 1997, Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph co-founded Netflix to offer online and DVD movie rentals, with a no late fee policy. This policy attracted an increasing number of customers who had been previously paying video giants like Blockbuster exorbitant late fees. By 2002, Netflix became a publicly traded company on Nasdaq (NFLX) with 600,000 member in the U.S. By 2005, membership rose to 4.2 million. In late 2008, Netflix partnered with Starz Entertainment (one of the largest cable and satellite television conglomerates under Starz Inc) to offer over 2,500 new films and television shows to “Watch Instantly” as part of the Starz Play service. Two years later, Netflix signed a five-year deal worth nearly $1 billion to stream films from Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate Entertainment and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The business arrangement drastically increased Netflix’s spending capital for streaming films annually, adding approximately $200 million per year.
Today, Netflix has become less online streaming service, and more television channel. Producing award winning original productions, Netflix has gone global and now has over 50 million members worldwide.
Ben & Jerry’s
This dream team started through an ice cream-making correspondence course that co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield completed through Penn State University’s Creamery in 1977.
Cohen, who lacks a sense of smell or taste, relied solely on texture to provide variety in his diet, which led to the company’s trademark chunks being mixed in with their ice cream. In 1978, with a $12,000 investment, the two business partners opened an ice cream parlor in a renovated gas station in downtown Burlington, Vermont.
By 1988, the two men won the title of U.S. Small Business Persons Of The Year, awarded by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Also that year, the first brownies were ordered from Greyston Bakery, which led to the development of the popular Chocolate Fudge Brownie flavor. In 1992, Ben & Jerry’s joined in a cooperative campaign with the national non-profit Children’s Defense Fund; the campaign goal was to bring children’s basic needs to the top of the national agenda.
In 1989, Ben & Jerry’s publicly opposed the use of rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) in all their products – which many competitors had yet to do at the time. This made their brand synonymous with environmental and health awareness, which attracted more customers.
In April 2000, Cohen and Greenfield sold their company to multinational food giant Unilever which vows to continue growing the company. The company that went from correspondence course to environmentally conscious enterprise, currently generates an annual revenue of over $180 million.
Research contribution: A. Anderson