We set down recently with entrepreneur Anatoliy Pshegornitskiy to get his take on the key requirements for being successful in business. While there are many influencers that impact a person’s success or failure, Anatoliy shared with us his basic outline for how to succeed in business.
- Be passionate about what you are doing. Starting or running a business requires tremendous self-motivation. This will only come about if you love what you are doing. Your passion is the reason to get up each day and face the challenges, whether you overcome them or not. Your passion will inspire others—your employees, management team, investors, customers, the world.
- Visualize success. Visualizing is not dreaming. Bring your entire business before your mind’s eye. Visualize your goals and what strategies will take you there. Think about what will make your business great. How many customers do you need to meet your bottom line, and how will you attract them? How much capital will your business need and how will you secure it? What level of staffing is required and what kind of people do you want on your team? What kind of image do you want to have in the world?
- Be prepared for the unexpected. Even with the most intricate, well thought-out strategic plan, you cannot possibly plan for every eventuality. Challenges have a way of finding you. Sometimes the unexpected can be a good thing—it can push you in a direction that you had not thought of before. If you take over management of a corporation, you may find that the situation is not what you expected. The actual financial numbers might be less rosy than what was presented, there may be disgruntled employees, or the market could suddenly drop. The bottom line here is flexibility.
- Focus and discipline. This sounds basic, but actually today this may be one of the most challenging tests to business success. It was easier in the days before the world became digitized. Today, there many opportunities to lose focus. Social media is a great tool for telling your story, but it can also sap you of time and energy. Email communications are the norm, but you can spend all day reading and responding to your emails. It is important to learn how to shut out the noise of the digital world, prioritize and focus on your goals.
- Your business is a reflection of you. Business success is predicated upon trust, real communication and genuine relationships. Managing a business puts you in contact with multiple stakeholders: your employees, customers, investors and others. It is up to you to set the tone for the business and your office. The corporate culture that you inculcate in your business will impact whether investors will give to your company, or customers will want to buy your product or service or if talented people will want to work for you.
- Focus on your strengths and delegate. Owning or managing a business does not mean that you must do everything yourself. In fact, few people are exceptional at everything. We all have our weaknesses. Assess your strengths and focus on those. Recruit great people to handle the rest.
- A competitive spirit. The global marketplace is crowded. Every day someone is launching a new product, company or idea. Many times it will be in the same arena as yours. To succeed you have to have a competitive spirit that will propel you to outdo your competition.
- Learn from your competition. How are they marketing themselves? What do their customers say about them? How do they set their prices? What are they doing better than you? There is no need to re-invent the wheel. When you see your customers doing something that is working, borrow it and make it your own.
- Think long-term. Your strategic plan should have short-term and long-term objectives, goals and benchmarks for measuring success. Nevertheless, the steps you take should always be with an eye toward long-term success and not short-term gain. Remember, you are building your business not simply for today, but for many tomorrows.
- Stay engaged with your customers. A successful business is built on relationships. Send holiday greetings, quarterly updates, build an engaging website and utilize social media, create events and other opportunities for customers and stakeholders to visit your business. If there is an issue, respond honestly and immediately.
Anatoliy Pshegornitskiy is a successful entrepreneur and corporate leader. He received undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering while serving in the Red Army and a degree in Economics from the University of Moscow. Upon leaving the army, Pshegornitskiy began working for electricity companies, managing several construction projects. Shortly thereafter he launched several initiatives involved in the construction of electricity infrastructure. He was appointed to serve as CEO of RusEngineering a large electric grid construction company with 100 affiliates. Under his leadership the company expanded its market base and revenues becoming a $1b corporation.