Small Enterprise

Quality trumps costs as start-ups race to succeed

It takes time and effort to build a strong business. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH
It takes time and effort to build a strong business. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH 

An engineer friend told me that out of the three critical components of successful project you can only have two at the time.

They are speed, cost and quality. In other words, if you want a project to be completed very fast you either have to pay high cost or compromise on quality. You cannot indulge in both.

One of the challenges most people face in pursuit of their goals, especially in business is balancing cost and quality within a specified timeframe.

Since we live in a society where quick results with the least efforts are glorified most people tend to sacrifice quality to achieve quick results at low cost. The result in most cases is catastrophic.

This is one of the reason why most firms appear successful at first then come down crumbling. It is like building a house on quicksand. It progresses on very well and stand magnificently until storm comes and brings it down with a thud.

Most people jump into business and right from the start ignore or disregard very important components such as conducting a feasibility study, setting up systems, investing in good product development and establishing an ethical business culture.

Later as business grows or fails to grow it becomes either very expensive or impossible to put things right. Whenever most people are asked why they do not invest in systems, compliance with the law and build a solid brand, they cite cost.

Starting a successful business is not one off or hit-and-run things. It is a long term investment founded on the right values and clear mission and vision that can withstand the shocks and adversities of the market place.

True success is a fruit of slow growth. Best businesses like all good projects are costly if hurried.

Most successful businesses we see around took time, hard work and persistence to grow. Their owners painstakingly and diligently established what products customers needed and took time to build them to their satisfaction.

They worked hard to establish a brand that communicates something that could be understood, verified and trusted.

If you want to succeed in business the cardinal rule is first establish what the customers need and how they need it. This is where marketing begins and if you get it wrong, everything else that follows will be wrong.

Second, take time to build it without compromising on quality. Commit to overcome the temptation to grow very fast so that you can learn slowly as you gain ground.

Finally, stay with your customers so that you develop and change with them as they change. They are, after all your reason for being in business and they butter your bread.