Success in any field can feel like a mystery, especially so in the business world. After all, a significant portion of new businesses shut their doors within the first couple of years, and by the time you reach the 5-year mark, the close rate jumps to 50%.
However, when you break things down, you’ll find that successful businesses seem to replicate the same formula over and over again. The precise details of each business may differ from one to the next, but the fundamental characteristics are all there. In this post, we’ll run through those staples, so make sure that your business has all of them, and you’ll be increasing your chances of success.
Refined Products and Services
In a world of intense competition, it pays to be as specific as possible. Vague, general goods and services might do well, but it’ll be making things more difficult — and unnecessarily though. These days, there are very few customers who are happy to buy any old product. They’re probably OK with it when they’re buying generic items such as toilet paper, but for most things, they want a good sense of what they’re buying. You can offer more refined goods and services by keeping your USP in mind; what is it about what you offer that makes it unique? You’ll find success if you can differentiate yourself from your competitors — and your uniqueness is an excellent way to do just that.
Solid Market Research
You could have what you believe is a fantastic product. But if there’s no market for that product, then success will be hard to come by. Similarly, if there are also a bunch of companies providing exactly the same thing, then the demand may not be there. Your market research will become the bible by which you can direct the look, feel, and shape of your business. It should tell who your ideal customer is, how much you should price your products, who you’re up against, and much more. The businesses that close their doors earlier than expected, such as within a year, usually do so because they didn’t conduct enough market research before they opened.
It’s not just what you’re offering the world that’ll determine whether your business succeeds or fails. How you offer it to the world also counts for a lot. There’s more than one way to work. If you’re not working effectively, or your costs are too high, then you won’t be running a sustainable business. And that’s key to long-term success. Try to avoid just letting your working approach develop organically; it’ll almost certainly prove to be ineffective, at least eventually. Instead, take a look at the various work models available — ideally the ones most widely adopted within your industry — and use that model. It might be a little unnatural at first, but it’ll set you up for success.
An entrepreneur can’t do everything all on their own. They can plant the seed for the business, but they can’t be responsible for the full lifespan of the business. To be successful, businesses will have to bring onboard employees. Many entrepreneurs are hesitant to do this at first because 1. It costs money to hire employees and 2. They like being in full control of what happens at their business. However, it’s worthwhile overcoming these factors. The right team can push a business forward in a way that just wouldn’t otherwise be possible, providing you hire the right team of employees.
And talking of employees: once you’ve brought them on board, you’ll want to ensure that you keep them onboard. You can think of your team of employees in the same way that you think of players on a sports team. A sports team could win matches, win trophies, and achieve its goals if the best players were always leaving. Success needs consistency. You can bring consistency to your business by improving your employee retention rate. Paying your employees well, creating a friendly and inviting working environment, and being open to employee feedback are all tried and tested methods for ensuring that your staff don’t look at leaving your business.
A business can’t succeed on any level, let alone at the highest level, if potential customers don’t know that the business exists. In an age when competition is stronger than it has arguably ever been, it’s more important than ever that businesses invest in their marketing strategies. This is applicable to all businesses, but especially online businesses, which don’t get the benefit of foot traffic. Unless you have specific experience in digital marketing, it’s usually best to work with a company that offers SEO services, since they’ll know exactly what’s needed to ensure your website appears high on search result pages. It’s also recommended to post on your social media channels, claim your Google My Business page, and publish quality, authoritative content on your website.
You might think you’re doing well as a business, but are you really? Sales, even repeated sales, do not indicate that your customers are fully happy with the service they receive. Your business might just be the most convenient business; and in that scenario, all it would take is one new competitor to pop up and claim your customers. The only way to really know whether they’re happy with your business is to ask them. In doing so, you might just learn something that helps you to greatly improve your business operations.
It’s easy to stand still when success starts rolling in. It can feel that you’ve achieved what you set out to do, and now all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. But that’s a risky game to play. The business world is ever in flux, and just because things are going well today, that doesn’t mean that things will be just as good tomorrow. The key to ongoing success is to continue developing and innovating even when things are going well.