Starting an organisation is not an easy thing to achieve. It takes a lot of determination and willpower to start an organisation from nothing but ideas and watch it grow to become something big. However, building an organisation or a company that lasts for a long period and stands the test of time is an even harder feat. It takes a lot of courage to start a company but it takes a different kind of courage to build to last. Many people build for ‘the now’. They are focused on the present world and what their company can achieve today, with no thought of posterity.
In this time of constant change and dynamism, new and improved ways to build and lead an organisation are needed to ensure longevity. The founding, growth, and continuous sustenance of an organisation is very much dependent on the different mechanisms and systems the leaders and founders put in place. These systems are what those who come into the organisation after them will follow and stand by to ensure that the company lives on.
When you study companies and various organisations that have prospered over the years, you will notice a couple of tips that help these companies grow and stay relevant through turbulent times. Below are a few tips that will help you build to last.
Push the Brand, Not the Person. If you are trying to build something for the now and the future, focus on elevating the name of the company, the brand, and not the people who work there or the person(s) who started it. This is very essential to the longevity of your company. Ideas, companies, businesses, and organisations all outgrow humans so it will be a great flaw to build something you want to last for long on something or someone that only lasts for a while.
Focusing your energy on the brand instead of the person is very important for many reasons. First, this makes your company and its potential fame and success independent of anybody, including the founders. Your company’s growth is attached only to the hard work and dedication put into it by the numerous people who work there with you, not one just one person.
Also, raising the brand above the person allows your company to outlive the persons who started it. Some companies and organisations begin to encounter loss and a retreat from the frontlines once the founder(s) pass away. This is because the company’s name and success have been so attached to the person that when they are no longer with the company, clients and customers are unable to visualize the company as an individual entity that can thrive after the demise of its founder.
Build around an ideology. Building your company around an ideology, a positive belief central to it, and the practices of the employees send a message to your clients and customers. Over the years, companies that have a philosophy or ideology about them that guides how they do business have always been able to attract more customers than those that don’t. They are also able to push a message of care and service to their customers and clients that it is not all about the money for them.
This also helps their customers and clients to feel connected to the company and the service they offer. The customers suddenly believe they are not just buying from this company but by doing so, they are also showing solidarity for the company’s philosophy or they are subscribing to it. When you have an ideology for your company, your customers begin to have an undying love and attachment to your company. This is beyond business for them now. It is showing attachment and support for what they believe to be a kindred spirit, someone who thinks as they do, who believes and follows the same ideology and philosophy as them.
Grow your Employees from Ground to Top. To build a company that lasts, you do not just focus on your clients and customers but also on your employees. These are the ones who will push the idea of your company or organisation forward. This is literally what you have employed them to do; to carry this vision you have with you. Now you must grow your employees in such a way that they will not want to leave this company. This is very fundamental to the sustainability of your company. Here’s why: if you grow an employee from entry-level to the executive level, you do not just have an employee at that point, you have someone who has also bought into the vision of your company and although they are not the owner of the company or organisation, to them, it feels the same and they feel responsible for the growth of the company. Having people like this on your team is a guaranteed way of seeing your company last through the hard times and keep standing even after decades and when you are no longer here.
There are various ways to start a company and grow it. however, the tips above are for you if you are ready to build not just a great company today, but a great company, today, and tomorrow.