Although we're used to hearing that half of small businesses fail within the first four years, realize too that the other half succeed!
If you are reading this, you are likely in the half that is succeeding because you are always looking to identify problem areas and minimize potential risks to your business. If you seem to be in the half that makes the successful half possible, it might be challenging but not impossible to achieve business success, even when the odds are against you.
Regardless of where you find yourself, reviewing the eight essential principles of a successful business will keep risks under control and may even rescue a losing season. It’s not just the owner who needs to understand and work on these areas, so teach your managers about them too.
- Focus Obsessively on Your Customers
If you have no customers, you have no sales and no company. Knowing who your customers are, what they are seeking and expect from a company like yours. Get granular on what they find difficult, irritating, or inadequate with their choices today and you have the key to areas where you can demolish your competitors and achieve rocket-powered growth.
Your job is to get you and your entire team – from the boardroom to the delivery people in the shipping process – focused on making the experience customers have with your company so superior that they tell their friends and social media followers, “Do business with these guys!”
[quotesright]It is astounding how many companies see customers as pests or victims in waiting. [/quotesright] Use their cluelessness and mop the floor with them. Don’t believe you can do it? Just look at Amazon. Their focus on putting the customer’s experience first has almost singlehandedly shuttered entire mega malls.
Amazon simply solved the problems for customers better than most retailers could. Low prices, social proof that a choice is good, one-click ordering, free shipping, easy no-hassle returns, immediate shipping, price comparisons, etc. is all it took.
Anyone could do the same. They just need to think straight.
- Make Clarity About What You Stand for – and Against – a Priority
Another essential in making sure your business succeed is by making it clear to your customers who you are and what your business is all about.
If you want to make it clear to your customers what your mission is all about, start with your company values. Without set values, you won't know what your business stands for and this deficiency will be sensed by your customers. [quotesright]Often, it is what you say you are against that resonates most powerfully to your customers and differentiates you. [/quotesright]
Ask these questions about your company. What do you stand for? What does your company believe in?
For example, if your company believes in renewable and sustainable products, you need to make sure this message reaches your customers. Are you prepared to show your customers what you're willing to do for this cause?
Aside from sending a clear message to your customers on what your company is all about, you want to set clear internal goals for your company. Do you have a clear vision for your future? Do all your employees understand it? [quotesright]They can’t help navigate through the inevitable problems and roadblocks if they don’t know where you are going. [/quotesright]
Let's say you start a business from your home, where do you see it going? You need to be clear about what you see ahead for your business.
For starters, you must envision when you want to move your business from your home to a stand-alone office. Picturing your business becoming a success in the field will give you a clear vision you can work toward.
Next, you need to think about what you want to do for your customers. How can you improve their lives with your products and services? How does your company's mission align with helping your customers?
Whatever your mission is, make sure it's clear and it translates to what your customers value.
One of the last things you need clarity on are your financial goals? What do you want your business to achieve financially? What do you want it to do for you and your family?
- Focus on Competence and Continually Getting Better
For people to thrive and feel happy, they must be good at what they do. This also applies to businesses.
You must make sure your business is what you're the best at. [quotes]For a business to stand out, it must be part of the top 10 percent in its field. [/quotes]
The first thing you need to make certain is whether what you're doing is your passion and what you love. Next, think about how doing what makes you happy has the potential to make you the best in the field.
The last thing to think about is if the product and service you're offering has the potential to be profitable. What you're good at should help you achieve your financial goals.
After your business is up and running, you must continually improve your products, delivery, information gathering, efficiency, and effectiveness. Fail to do so and you will become another sad business casualty.
- Foster and Encourage Creativity
[quotesright]No business can stay successful without innovation. [/quotesright]In fact, the essence of businesses are their ability to constantly reinvent and rebrand themselves.
A business should always be thinking of ways to deliver its products in a way that is better, cheaper, faster, and easier. This is where creativity comes to play.
You don't have to be an artist to be creative. Most of the time creativity is the ability to solve problems as they present themselves. Focus your attention on how to solve the issue rather than assigning blame.
Sadly, many companies do not encourage innovation, they punish it. “That’s not how we do things.” “What moron thought this up.” “Your job is to do the work, not think.”
[quotes]If you are not making mistakes, you’re not doing enough.[/quotes] The best ideas can come from the lowest member in your company’s hierarchy. Listen and encourage and don’t punish people for good ideas that didn’t work. You know, like Edison trying 10,000 ways to invent a filament for a lightbulb that failed… until the 10,001st time.
- Promote Courage
Courage is one of the most important qualities to possess in the business world. In fact, an entrepreneur is a person who operates and organizes a business while taking great financial risks.
The truth is most people are afraid to take business risks due to fear of failure. [quotesright]However, taking big risks is a necessary step to achieve success. [/quotesright]
Make sure you promote courage in your business. Promote the courage to take risks and the courage to endure challenges.
- Eliminate Constraints
Every time anybody has a goal there's always a constraint or an obstacle that gets in the way. The first step is to identify the factor or circumstances that are getting in the way of your business.
Think of the 80/20 rule and apply it to your business. About 80 percent of the time you don't achieve your goals because of an obstacle within yourself and or your team.
20 percent of the time, you don't achieve your goal due to other people or external circumstances.
- Concentration Goes a Long Way
Every business has several problems it has to deal with at any given time. However, for your business to be successful, you need to focus on the most important thing until it has been dealt with completely.
Even when many different problems come at you at once, it's important for your success to focus on each, one at a time. [quotesright]Quality thought and deep thinking, taking time to dig deeper and think of second and third order consequences will pay off with good decisions and don’t create new problems. [/quotesright]
It's good practice to start your day with a list of things you need to achieve. List them in order of importance and don't create a new list until you've completed all of them or have each assigned to members of your team for resolution.
Completing a task before moving on to the next one will help you increase your productivity.
- Make a Continuous Action Plan
The best advice to creating and sustaining a successful business is to keep your ideas in motion. As an entrepreneur, you must always come up with new ideas and try to do things differently.
[quotesright]Most of the time, things end up being different than what we have envisioned. [/quotesright] That’s why it's only through developing a continuously evolving action plan that most businesses achieve success.
If one thing is not working out, that’s your sign that you need to change, or reassess, or move on to something else.
Ready to Achieve Success in Your Business?
We hope these tips gave you an idea on how to achieve success in your business. Remember to think about having a continuous action plan, courage, concentration, creativity, eliminate constraints, competence, and clarity.
You don’t have to go it alone, we can help so the process is easier, more certain, and pays off faster. Shouldn’t we talk? USA: 877.433.6225 firstname.lastname@example.org