What can you discover from Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, who opened his first Wal-Mart at age 44 in 1962. This wasn’t where Sam started though. He was involved in building his business years before 1962 learning the business and life skills that would ultimately birth Wal-Mart. It wasn’t fast and it wasn’t easy, but Sam had determination and he wasn’t afraid to try new things and fail. He also encouraged people around him and that worked for him to try new and different things. He was a discount store “scientist” and that tenacity and ability to change netted him billions and billions of dollars in net worth.
So what exactly are the 10 core steps to business success from Sam Walton? You must read Sam Walton: Made In America to see the entire story unfold.
But here’s my short summary to get you interested in learning from a self-made billionaire…
Sam Walton’s 10 Rules To Running A Successful Company
- Commit to your business – stay determined and bring passion to your work
- Share your profits – share with your business partners and the associates that work for you. This will motive everyone to build a successful business.
- Motivate your partners – money and ownership are not enough. Bring new and interesting ways to your business to motivate. Encourage competition, set goals to reach, and keep score. Don’t become too predictable.
- Communicate – everything you can make know. Share what the numbers are and don’t hold back. The more information you can arm people with, the better equipped they will be at building the business.
- Show appreciation – let people around you and in your business know how much they are appreciated with words, notes, and recognition. People are what make your business, they shouldn’t be looked at as just employees.
- Celebrate your successes – have fun and show enthusiasm. Get your employees involved and don’t sweat the failures. Make it fun and come up with your own stunts to celebrate.
- Listen to everyone – Take time to listen to what your employees and partners are telling you. Everyone. Even the entry level people will come up with some great ideas.
- Exceed your customer’s expectations – don’t settle for getting by what is required. Give them what they want and a little more. Make them feel appreciated and they will continue to keep coming back. Make good on your mistakes and don’t make excuses, apologize instead.
- Control your expenses – control your costs better than your competitors. This is where you can always have a competitive advantage and you can make mistakes and have room to recover.
- Swim upstream – Ignore conventional wisdom and go the other way. If everyone is doing something the same way, there’s a good chance you can find a niche going in the opposite direction.
Sam himself says in the book that these rules might sound too simple, but if they can work for a billionaire, they can work for you as well. Don’t discount the simple rules in business. Grab hold of them and implement them in your own business.
Make sure you pick up Sam’s book: Sam Walton: Made In America