As discussed in the previous blog Old Principles, New Ways of Thinking, the original ways to market and build a business are still as relevant today as they were 100 years ago. Alright, so there are a lot more channels for marketing and advertising due to digital media, but the way we do this, hasn’t changed.

For business owners, it can seem overwhelming. It can be difficult to decide what deserves more focus, which will return the biggest ROI and ultimately which avenue deserves more budget. But like before, testing will always help you make an informed decision. And, unlike before, there’s now more ways to track your efforts.

Some of the fundamental ways of building a successful business are to:

1. Invest in good systems, invest early – For example, in a previous business I had, I invested in purchasing an open source CRM system in the initial setup stage of the business. Because I moved early, growth was not restricted. If I had bought a stand-alone solution, that may not have allowed easy integration, I couldn’t have done this.

2. Be process driven – A good process will leave less room for error and make all actions traceable (if followed correctly) so that improvements or upgrades can be made easily.

3. Plan conservatively – Create a plan and stick to it. Consider budget and expenses. It doesn’t mean you won’t have problems along the way, but it will hep you to mitigate creeping costs.

4. Find a mentor – Find some one who inspires you to go the extra mile and will impart their knowledge generously. A mentor has the ability to provide experience and knowledge, having forged the path beforehand. You can learn from these people who through actual experience, can impart information to encourage both personal and business growth.

5. Seek professional guidance – Always have within your network, companies, people or mentors that are masters in their area or industry, that you can refer to for advice.