1. Focus on your niche.
You must focus your efforts on your core value in Manila and not become distracted by the businesses that are flourishing around you. Keep your head down and serve your customers - do not compare your numbers to your business neighbours, or you will quickly become frustrated. Within your industry, find the audience that prefers you specifically and serve them! Keep Pareto's Rule in mind: 20% of your customers will make 80% of your purchases. Focus on the 20%, and you will sell more.
2. Create and use a business plan.
Manila is a highly competitive city. Whether you are trying to raise capital or just keep your own strategy clear, a business plan is always a great start. This business plan should answer all of the tough questions and map out your future in business: Who is your competition? What market do you best serve? What is your competitive advantage? What kind of capital do you need to profit? Even if you never present a banker with this report, keep it for yourself as a plan to follow.
3. Don’t rely too much on banks at the start.
4. Take opportunities when they come along.
5. Start small.
6. Prepare for the worst.
7. Know your skills.
8. Sales are the most important thing.
9. Your customers are your new boss.
10. Worry about your reputation.
11. Put profitability first.
12. Hire great people.
13. Get all the help you can.
14. Build excellent relationships with suppliers.
15. Learn, learn, learn.
Make sure to take every challenge you face in business as a learning opportunity. To be successful, you must become an incredible learner, because you will not do everything right the first time.
16. Make sure your business is online.
In the future, the Internet is how people will do almost all business, especially in Manila, a growing market for online commerce. You have an opportunity now to solidify your online market share before your industry floods the landscape.
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