Today is September 29th – one year from the end of an iconic series that ran for a total of 5 seasons. In honour that anniversary – we have decided to resurface a post from our CEO that was originally published as a feature piece in February/March 2014 issue of the BusinessVIEW. Enjoy! As always, let us know what you think in the comments below!
11 Badass Business Building Lessons from Breaking Bad
By Mouneeb Shahid, CEO, 2 Web Design
Three weekends and 50-plus hours of a Netflix triathlon later, I confess that I have committed an “entrepreneurial sin” by watching TV with the sole purpose of entertaining myself. The exercise has helped me achieve a new level of endurance for withstanding television, but it never occurred to me that I would learn some very important business lessons through this entertaining ordeal.
The series that got me hooked was “Breaking Bad.” Some of you have watched it and love it. For those that are unaware, it is an award-winning series which highlights a two-year journey of an ailing high school chemistry teacher, Walter White, who overcomes financial challenges by turning to a life of crime. What is most intriguing about this series is his gradual development from an insecure, self-conscious, debt-ridden and unsuccessful state to becoming a highly confident, business-savvy drug lord. Through his transition he goes from being a “good” person to a “bad” person a state that he despises initially but gradually accepts.
Without including any spoilers, I want to focus primarily on 11 key points that made him successful as an entrepreneur and the lessons we can learn from his experiences:
1) Pursuit of excellence
Every business should regularly invest in making themselves better at what they do. This is a crucial part of making your business known and credible among your target market. The product or service that you offer should have the highest standards and be the best in the industry. Period. There is no room for mediocre companies in an aggressive market.
2) Service with an extra-mile
Your customers will decide how good you are, so it is important you take good care of them. Go beyond and deliver more, with a better quality than they expect. Make it your goal to ensure that your customers have fond memories of you. This is absolutely necessary if you want them talking about your product to their network.
3) Extreme level of passion
Your product or service is a reflection of you as a business owner. If you are passionate about your business, your customers will sense that and be excited about your offering. Passion really counts when the going gets tough. When everything is breaking apart and things go downhill, it is the passionate entrepreneurs that survive the market slump.
4) Partner with care
Partnerships are like marriage. They go well at times but they can break apart as well. Partnerships are mutually beneficial if you have a clear understanding of responsibilities between the partners and focus on the strengths of each other. Once in a while you will need to carry your partner’s weight and make sacrifices, but keeping the goal in mind and having a clear direction will allow you to sustain key relationships. Always have an exit strategy that all parties are clear about.
5) Build an empire
Make efforts to continually expand by selecting the right distribution and sales channels. By employing distribution channels you can streamline the delivery of your product and grow revenues consistently. It also adds a layer of stability to your business so you can have a healthy cash flow.
Whenever there is hard-earned money or resources involved, always negotiate. Try to have an unbiased understanding of the commitments and value of each negotiating party. Your negotiating power will depend on your approach, the value you bring to the table and your position in the market place.
Dominate your industry. In addition to delivering the best product and service, take aggressive measures to be the one your customers will think of when there is talk about your industry.
8) Be Patient
Patience is a virtue. When dealing with people and hardships in business, being patient with the conditions at hand is critical. How you deal with struggles today will influence your success tomorrow.
It is a fact that most innovations happen when there is a period of recession. This is understandable because when money is rolling in, businesses are not worried. It is when times get difficult that we need to rethink our strategy to survive. At times all doors seem closed and that is exactly when we need to take a step back and get a little creative.
10) Keep your goals in sight
Never lose track of your goals. Always remember your goals and keep an active mindset as to why you are doing what you are doing.
11) Keep family first
Most entrepreneurs are guilty of not spending enough time with their families. It is a known fact that most us accept that as a byproduct of “striving to achieve success.” We live in a world full of rat races and whatever we achieve never seems to be enough. When you are trapped in this mindset of moving forward professionally, you might actually be moving backward personally. Keeping your family first as part of your goals is necessary to live a full life and actually be successful.