I am a big proponent of building long term businesses rather than short-lived companies. “It’s better to triple down on one thing rather than be half pregnant with 6” as the saying goes.
It’s important to build with a vision of where you want to go, your goals, and the ultimate mission as you grow. Without that vision of the long game, you are sure to deviate onto something more attractive mid-action.
This is why 60% of the stores launched on platforms like Shopify will be something different if not out of business in less than five years. Because 80% of them start a short game trendy site and have no emotional equity in what they are building. This is building for the “near term” or “now” factor.
The remaining 40% of stores are building long term brands. Nike didn’t become Nike overnight. It took decades of getting it wrong to get it right. So what gave a giant brand like Nike the competitive edge over other brands like Adidas? They withstood the wash. Nike rebounded from near bankruptcy after enduring a severe product boycott in 2018.
Here are 6 bullet points which all long term businesses should consider when planning for the long term.
- Know your market
- Have the long term vision
- Quickly identify and eliminate problems
- Strong process and systems design
- Be consistent
- Efficiency is everything
Stand your ground
Brands like Nike exist because they don’t stop making shoes. They have invested their capital into the deployment of multi-million dollar marketing strategies to ensure the brand continues to grow and remain the kind in the athletic shoe space.
Strong brands like Nike, Tesla, and Apple don’t fold when the market hits a correction or even a dreaded recession hits wall street. Because they have seen the troubled times coming long before they ever happened. They had long term vision and planned accordingly.
Starting an online business is easy– some internet guy
A good share of people starting online stores today have fallen into the romance of “starting an online business is easy” and “making money online is easy”. These types of myths are what lead to a lot of churn in new online businesses.
Businesses with this false belief are looking for the million dollar jackpot that doesn’t exist. They start stores to sell items no one will want in 3 weeks because the market is saturated with a product from others doing the same thing. Trendy items like the latest fidget spinners or selfie sticks don’t last long. They have a very short shelf life and making building a long term business near impossible.
If you just wanna get your feet wet with e-commerce then consider “Starting a drop shipping business on Shopify” to try an idea.
The easy online money theory comes from 1994 when seemingly everyone was getting rich online. The reality is only a few people were actually making big money online. Most companies that are around today are here because they reinvested every cent back into the business and withstood the currents and shifts in the tech ecosystem.
Google had one focus, creating great products the internet would love and use. Amazon wanted to be “the everything store”. Over the course of 20 years, both succeeded.
Building for the long term and understanding that it takes time and patience to build a business like Nike, Google, Amazon, Tesla, or Microsoft. Each of these companies were at some point in the stage you may be in within your own business. Keep in mind where you are going, what your mission is, and how you plan to get the outcomes you want for your business.
If you focus too much on the “now” or the “short term” stuff that is all that will matter. Focus on the longevity of your personal branding, business relationships, and business fundamentals and your company could be the next Nike. Minus the lawsuits and boycotts, of course, lol.
Building a business can be a lengthy process. Sometimes it even takes a lifetime. Remember that when you want instant results from your 6-month-old website.