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10 ways to last 10 years in business (Part 1)

Learn from the experience of established entrepreneurs
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Starting a business is one thing, lasting a decade is a different story. Usually, it is time which is the ultimate test of a business concept’s flexibility.

Most businesses have life spans of a year, two years, maybe even five, but there is only a handful which was able to stand the test of time and all the challenges hurled its way to have lasted a decade.

Here is the first part of the 10 ways on how your business can last a decade.

1. Never say “never.”
After the production of our Spoofs T-shirts, we started looking for established retailers that would consign us. But no one would have us because there was always the question whether it was legal to spoof known brands. The greatest rejection we experienced at that time was from leading fashion retailer Cinderella. Finally, Gift Gate accepted us and distributed our shirts to 21 of their stores. Cinderella then relented and welcomed us into their shops.

Spoofs Limited (founded 1992)

2. Listen to your customers.
Early in the business, a young woman told me, “Judging from the cars parked outside, your clients are very rich people, yet you are passing off your burger as cheaply priced merchandise. The fact, however, is that price is not an issue for them. Your packaging for your burger is also wrong and unappealing.” She was right. When I made these changes in the product, our business experienced a great boost in sales.

Mushroom Burger (1987)

3. Take advantage of new technology and current trends.
The rise of in 2008 as the hub of online sellers gave us the opportunity to become more accessible to our customer base of young mothers and corporate clients. Marketing our products then became a whole lot easier since the Internet is available almost everywhere!

Sweet Success (1998)

4. Be a hands-on entrepreneur.
I personally select and hire all my voice coaches. I also train the center’s 200-plus staff by myself. Finding time to immerse myself in the business is not easy, but I do it to ensure the quality of my service. It’s hard to find someone who can offer the same dedication that I give to the center.

Center for Pop Music (1984)

5. Set short-term and long-term goals.
In putting up a business, you have to first of all identify what your company wants to achieve in five, 10, 15 and so on years. Listing down specific, tangible and possible goals yearly will allow for growth and improvement.

Hot Pink Lingerie (2000)

Watch for the second part of this list and learn from more entrepreneurs next week!


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