Building a business is no mean feat. Whether your business is in its infancy or has been established a long time, there is a need to remain at the forefront of the industry in which you operate. There are many ways in which you can make big changes to your business and maintain a competitive advantage, but here, we consider 3 fundamentals.

Believe in your idea, and build a brand around this

A real belief in what you are doing is crucial – not only will this enhance your appeal to strategic buyers and investors alike, it will also help to reaffirm exactly why you are doing what you’re doing and instil unwavering commitment. Andy Wallace, Managing Director at The Robot Exchange comments “Make sure [your idea] is something that you feel passionate about, and that clients will benefit from, otherwise potential clients will sense that even you don’t believe in your product or service yourself.”

Further to this, Dean Jackson, founder of HUUB, one of the world’s fastest growing sport apparel and accessories brands, adds “Don’t stop believing in what you’re doing, and the belief that what you’re doing is the right thing to do. Don’t be afraid to challenge the norm – the norm is run by people who are normal.”

Look after your people

It may sound simple but look after those who help make your ambitions a reality. As entrepreneur Aman Kular, owner of Tamatanga restaurants notes “Respect your employees, without them your business is nothing – your team needs to be cared for, respected and nurtured. You need to foster a culture of team, unity, and togetherness. That family ethos of all working together and fostering loyalty and commitment is key. I don’t see my employees as anything other than members of our business family.”

An ideology that is echoed by Benjamin Rosende, CEO of RDT, who adds “Treat your people well and they will help your business thrive, particularly in uncertain times. Focus less on profit – put your people first, as ultimately, they are the reason businesses prosper. Transparency is one of the most crucial aspects when it comes to continued success and will help you amplify the impact you have on the wider community.”

Obtain funding

The prospect of having extra resources available to you is undeniably an exciting one. Funding can provide you with the opportunity to expand into new and emerging territories, to take advantage of existing opportunities whilst creating new ones. It can provide more working capital, enable the purchase of fixed assets, or be used to improve existing procedures.

There is myriad of funding options out there – from traditional lenders such as banks – to alternative funding options, something which has risen in popularity in recent years.

“The raft of increasing new regulations in financial markets has put increased pressure on existing lenders. This has created a catalyst for new and innovative forms of funding to emerge, as entrepreneurs and business owners look for new ways to make their business aspirations a reality” explains Dan Bowtell, Corporate Finance Partner at Smith Cooper.

“There has been a real shift towards alternative options in recent years, particularly in the form of crowd funding and peer to peer lending, as entrepreneurs and business owners seek to accelerate growth and involve wider communities.”

“For smaller businesses looking to grow, or entrepreneurs looking to secure alternative types of funding, a form of alternative finance such as crowdfunding might be better aligned to their needs. Alternative funding opportunities often offer a really exciting opportunity for those with an interest in the business; providing investors with the chance to be part of the business, and to share in its success.”