What are the crucial factors that make one business more successful than another? Well, there’s a lot more to it than just making as much profit as possible. Sure, making money is an important part of any business. But you wouldn’t get there without great staff, good customers, a brilliant network and a business plan. So, what’s really important for success? And what truly defines success? Let’s find out:
1. Having a Clear Business Goal
When you think of most well-known brands and businesses, they all have a clear slogan or reason for operating, right? Your business should be the same. Maybe you want to expand your service or product into a specific area, grow your team, make your business 100% sustainable. You may want to meet this goal within the next 5, 10, or 15 years. Whatever your goal, make it clear and run your business with it in mind. Now is a better time than ever to reinvent things!
2. Making Sure You Have the Right Talent
The most important asset in any business is undoubtedly its people! There’s a reason everyone always says so. Yes, it’s true – the thing that has the biggest success on your company’s success is the people who work there.
So, be sure to do all that you can to keep these people with you. Do everything you can to get the best people in your workplace, and treat them right so they will stay there. Then, when things are going well in your workplace, word will get out and you’ll have a reputation as a great place to work.
3. Knowing Your Competitors
All the best companies know to keep an eye on what their rivals are doing. However, some sectors are more saturated than others. You might feel like your business is floundering if you’re in a particularly competitive market, but it’s still possible to excel – just get to know your market.
Identifying your audience goes hand in hand with setting up your business goal. Figuring out who you want to sell to is important. Yet most important of all is competitor research. When you know exactly what similar businesses are doing, you can build marketing that is different to theirs, or identify the gaps that they forgot to fill with their services or products. Staying ahead of the curve, rather than reacting after another business does something new, is important.
4. Understanding Your Customers
Knowing what your customers want is imperative if you want your business to succeed. Identifying your own particular niche, before carrying out further customer research, helps you truly create a unique space for yourself in the industry.
In a increasingly digital and human-devoid world, the human touch is more and more sought after. So, making the effort to get to know your customers can really set your business apart.
5. Being a Good Leader
Even in the most open and honest business, you still need a good team leader to make all those tough decisions. Sometimes you have to make decisions on the spur of the moment, and with very little information. If you leave it any longer, it’ll be too late. Not everyone can pull this off.
Success in business is often about making these decisions before it’s too late. You simply have to use your experience and expertise, and commit to your gut feeling.
6. Being Open with Your Team
Good riddance to that old-fashioned dictatorial style of leadership! Well-run modern businesses have a good culture of trust. If you have clearly outlined business values that you live by, your team will trust you more. Confer with your team on the important business decisions, follow through on the promises you make to your staff, and own up to all leadership mistakes you make. This will help you build a tight-knit team.
7. Retaining All Your Business Documents
Yes, it’s the 21st century and hardly any important business documents are physical anymore. But this simply makes the documents all the more vital! Whether you need proof of address or purchase, or you just forget when a certain business transaction happened, retaining a copy of your business documents is unbelievably useful.
Even non-physical documents can be backed up. Emails with PDFs of transactions could be backed up to another email address, for example, for ease of keeping track. And when you have everything in order, new data tools will show you unexpected insights.
Retaining evidence also means you can establish your credibility and resolve any disputes on down the line, as well as preserving your ideas for later. You just never know when this or that might come in handy!
8. Being Patient
Maybe your sales had a bad week or a competitor is doing well with a big sale. Equally, maybe your business is doing well at a particular time of the year. Whatever the case, don’t let these short term events distract you from your organisation’s larger journey over time.
Success in business is always slow going, but the key is to minimise your risk and build a great team.
9. Being Resilient
In business, there are always setbacks and bad luck. No business has ever been 100% successful from the get-go. The most admired businesses aren’t necessarily the most successful ones, either – it’s the people who bounce back from negative events who really stand out.
If you want to succeed at anything, you have to be resilient.
10. Building a Strong Network
Gone are the days of the Filofax or the little black book. Maybe it’s stored on a spreadsheet or shared Google Doc instead. But your address book is still as crucial as ever. Your suppliers, customers, mentors and all your other business relationships are important sources of ideas, advice, and further business. Social networks started out as yearbooks for a reason – people want to keep in touch, even in business! So, use those enhanced address books to their full potential – get in touch with your favourite customers, suppliers and everyone else on LinkedIn, be active, and you never know what opportunities may present themselves.