How hard are you prepared to work for your small business?

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English: Jack Ma speaks during The Future of t...
English: Jack Ma speaks during The Future of the Global Economy: The View from China plenary session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China 28 September 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An interesting video surfaced on the Internet just after the Alibaba IPO in the United States about how Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of the Internet e-commerce site, started his business.

If you look at the video, you will see that Jack had a clear vision for his Internet company, Alibaba right from the outset. In other words he came up with a creative vision for not only having one of the top e-commerce site in China but also in the world. In his address to his five or so new employees he tells them that their goal is achievable but they must not underestimate how much hard work the Silicon Valley crowd put into their companies. He said that it was going to take them three to five years of tremendously hard work to get up and running and to build their company with the international presence of an eBay, Yahoo or Amazon. He went on to point out that they would not be an eight to five pm company but that they would have to put in the hours, working hard, if they were to succeed.

Now after the successful IPO (Initial Public Offering) Alibaba is a huge success. It didn’t take three to five years to get their company to where it is today but those first three to five years were critical in bringing the business to scale that could compete with the likes of the US-based Internet giants. Today he has many more employees but they are all committed to the hard work involved in building Alibaba into the Internet phenomenon that it is.

How clear is your vision for your small business? How much hard work for you pay or put into bringing your new business idea into fruition? How far would you go?

Dogged, unfailing persistence and hard work are still key ingredients in getting any new idea off the ground. Wealth is to be had by those who are prepared to go the extra mile, work hard and provide value for potential customers. Have you ever heard of a small business that grew and succeeded without these qualities?

The other big lesson that we learn from the Alibaba success story is to have organised plans and a mastermind team to guide and steer the implementation of those plans. Here we are not talking about planning to such a small detail that the new business idea or small venture never gets off the ground. What we are talking about here is a clear plan for implementation that takes into account the value proposition for the customer, business model, technology that will be used, resources such as capital and the expertise that is needed as well as a deep understanding of the customers that will be served and the marketplace.

Coming up with a new business idea involves the kind of creative vision that Jack Ma used to start Alibaba. It also requires implementation of sound business plans and the key ingredient – hard work and persistence. If you want to come up with a new business idea or small venture and need guidance, then put your name down for my forthcoming book called “Breakthrough Ideas”. It’s a resource that will be your mentor and guide in helping take a mere idea from concept through to product development and implementation. All you need to supply is the creative vision, detailed planning and hard work.

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