Business Life Lessons

How to Build a Successful Business

This article describes the 3 tips on how to do build a successful business.  This is part 3 of a 3-part series on the lessons I’ve learned from the recent Money Summit and Wealth Expo. 

If you missed the first 2 articles, you can read them here

Ask anyone of your friends and at least one will say they dream of starting their own business someday.  The fact of the matter is, it’s easy to start a business.  The hard part is building it into a successful one. 

They say 1 in every 10 businesses fail in the first 5 years.  Of those who were able to survive, 1 in every 10 will fail in the next 5 years.  Here are 3 tips I learned during the Money Summit and Wealth Expo that maybe able to help you beat these odds.

1) Sell

The secret to building a successful business is learning how to sell. Unfortunately, selling brings out a not so good connotation to a lot of people.  But the fact of the matter is, everyday, you are already selling.  For example:

  • When you were born, you sold to get what you want by crying
    • When you were hungry, you cried and someone fed you,
    • When you wanted to pee, you cried and someone changed your diapers,
    • When you wanted attention you cried and they made funny faces to make you smile. 
  • When you got a little older, you sold your way
    • to play outside with other kids,
    • to play computer games, or
    • to watch TV
  • When you went to school, you sold your parents
    • to give you “baon” (allowance)
    • to buy you a nice school bag
    • to go study at a university
  • When you applied for a job,
    • you sold yourself as an investment to the company and they hired you
    • you sold yourself as an asset to the company and they raised your salary
    • you sold yourself so good other companies are now trying to recruit you
  • When you liked someone,
    • you sold yourself into her/him going on a date with you
    • you sold yourself into being her boyfriend/his girlfriend
    • and then eventually sold yourself to spending the rest your lives together in marriage

The question is not whether you like selling or not.  You have no other choice.  You  are already selling whether you realize it or not.  The only question you need to ask yourself, is how you can be better at selling. 

According to Dr. Rodolfo “Dups” delos Reyes, best-selling author and speaker at the Money Summit, selling can be described in just one word – “attitude”.  To sell effectively, you have to address the needs and fears of your customers.  The #1 need of people is acceptance, and their #1 fear is rejection.

All other techniques on selling revolves around this very simple idea of helping someone else solve his or her problem by having the attitude to be his or her friend.     

2) Solve Problems

According to Zig Ziglar, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” When you learn how to solve other people’s problems, they will be more than willing to pay you for it.  Think about it.  Why do you think your boss is willing to pay you your salary if you are not solving his problems. 

Now, let’s ask what are some small businesses trying to solve?

  • a food cart business helps temporary solve the problem of hunger by making it easier for busy people to buy and eat on the go
  • a home-based internet marketing business helps people find the information or products that they need
  • an Ebay business helps collectors find rare items

How about the BIG businesses?

  • Google helps organize information and make it available to you fast…really fast
  • Microsoft helps companies increase their productivity by using their software tools like Windows and Microsoft Office
  • McDo or Jollibee allows people on the go to enjoy a meal fast

3) Build Systems

The only difference between us and Henry Sy, is his ability to leverage the skills and efforts of thousands of people working for him to build his empire of SM malls in the country.  The secret?  He knows how to build systems. 

Can you imagine Henry Sy, doing everything himself? Of course not.  It would be ridiculous.  But that’s what a lot of us are trying to do when we go into business. And we end up doing a job working in the business instead of having the business work for us.

The business system differentiates BIG businesses from small ones.  According to Robert Kiyosaki, you know you have a BIG business when you can take a vacation for 1 year, come back and find your business still standing and more profitable than ever. The challenge then becomes making your business systems work even without you.

How then can you build systems?

One way is through franchising. Franchising helps people get into business by leveraging the systems built by a successful one.  McDonald’s for example, is run by business systems.  Whether you are in Singapore or Manila, a McDonald’s store will practically be the same. 

Another way is to use leverage.  Leverage other people’s skills.  Leverage technology.  Leverage other people’s money.

Lastly, you can get a mentor to help you learn how to build those systems and shorten your learning curve.


That concludes our 3-part series on the lessons learned from the recent Money Summit and Wealth Expo. 


Dear readers, what other tips can you share to build a successful business?