6 Things That Matter When It Comes to Building Your Business

September 30, 2016

2:40 pm

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of attending the first Chase for Business Conference in my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Hosted by entrepreneur and entertainer Nick Cannon, the event had a solid cast of speakers sharing their insights to a crowd of about 500 entrepreneurs, which include both high-growth startup and small business owners. Rather than rehash the entire day, here are six key takeaways to focus on when growing your business.

People Matter

Every single person at your company helps shape the culture and experience that builds your brand. The sister team of Regine Jeune and Florence Sterlin of DB Sterlin Consultants, which has a hand in the construction efforts of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, know this very well as they run a family-business started by their father. Together, they steer the culture along with their employees and know to “stay in their lanes” as sisters. Coworkers keep the ship moving forward. It's a fact.

The self-proclaimed “entrepretainer” Nick Cannon explained this by saying:

“You're not selling a product, you're selling an idea that make people's lives better. You need to understand people, you have understand your customer. It has to be something people are captivated by.”

This was a lesson he learned early on and helped him succeed along the way. I talked with Nick Cannon backstage at the conference – watch my interview with Nick Cannon in the video below:

Relationships Matter

I’ve said this on many occasions in my various speaking opportunities and even in my book: relationships matter. Quintin Primo reiterated this point several times in his conversation with Melissa Bean from Chase. He even went as far as to quote his wife Diane in saying:

“Relationships are the currency of success.”

That said, relationships are also fragile. They cannot be forced and must be fostered. Primo explained that the best way to do that in the business world is to focus on making friends first and then, if a business relationship comes out of it, great – then you’re working with your friends. He went on to say:

“Friendship first, relationships second.”

Diversity Matters

We hear a lot about diversity and inclusion in the work force as it’s become a hot topic in business. Entrepreneur, JP media mogul and best-selling author of the book SELF MADE, Nely Galan, believes there is a huge opportunity right under everyone’s nose.

Latina women are positioned to become a strong entrepreneurial force in emerging markets. She shared insights and thoughts on how the companies that are going to win will do so through multicultural inclusion and diversity in business.

I got a chance to chat with Nely backstage at the conference – watch my interview with Nely Galan in the video below:

I think she’s right. You can see for yourself by watching Nely Galan’s fantastic talk at the Chase for Business Conference in the video below:

Passion Matters

For the last decade, I’ve toured the country rallying startup communities and showcasing early stage companies. In doing so, I’ve seen lots of different applications, and many were focused on solving the problem of finding parking. Mark Lawrence, the founder of Spot Hero, was one of those companies I saw early on. Driven (pun intended) by the passion to help people to find parking more efficiently, Lawrence jumped into a market six years ago that had other competitors, including one based in Chicago.

Today, Spot Hero has surpassed all of its competitors as one of the largest parking applications out there. Passion, plus doing what he loves has equaled success – I think there's a good combo of reminders in there.

Lawrence discussed his growth in a discussion led by Nick Cannon and also included Regine Jeune and Florence Sterlin from DB Sterlin, and Mike Holmgren from Festive Foods (makers of Gino’s East Pizza). You can watch this growth discussion at the Chase for Business Conference in the video below:

Technology Matters

Technology is a disruptor and enables all business, no matter the industry. While there are lots of things to worry about when it comes to starting a business, it’s important to realize that technology is part of the foundation of any business today. JP Morgan’s Noah Wintroub may have said it best:

“Every business is a tech business now. Capital is the oxygen businesses need.”

I got a chance to chat with Noah about disruption – watch my interview with Noah Wintroub in the video below:

Perseverance Matters

Going from a waiter at Red Lobster to the founder of global fashion brand did not happen overnight – it took perseverance and the belief that your vision is worth fighting for. That’s exactly what FUBU founder, Shark Tank star, and author of The Power of Broke, Daymond John, did to get where he is today. That's also true for Nely Galan too, who is self made and persevered towards success. Both are minorities, and both went to great odds to get where they are today.

It takes an unbelievable amount of perseverance to keep going out there through the highs and lows of entrepreneurship every single day. Perseverance matters in business and life, as the Shark Daymond John may have put it best to close out the conference:

“You’ll never get where you want to go if you don’t keep swimming!”

Seems like an appropriate comment made by “a shark” and one we all should live by.

Editor's Note: Chase for Business had Frank Gruber attend the Chase for Business in Chicago a reporter and social influencer.


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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.