If you're going to run a business, you may as well do it right. To help you out, I've compiled a list of 17 ways to set your business up for success. All of the business success tips are helpful and will make a significant impact when put into action.
Make the Commitment
Everything great starts with strong commitment. If you're not invested in what you're setting out to achieve, no one else is going to be invested either. You need to get started and stick with it, no matter what the circumstances or conditions. The journey needs to begin today, not tomorrow. It's only going to work if you take action and implement a strategic plan.
Work as a Team
Sounds simple, but sometimes it's more difficult to do than expected. Match people that work well together so that they all can achieve maximum productivity. Make each team member feel a part of, and that their combined effort is helping build a stronger whole. People that feel a part of a team produce better results and help make a happier work environment.
Get a Great Location
I'm sure you've heard, "Location is everything," well it's not entirely everything, but if you're in retail and you're not in a high-trafficked area, it's going to be tough. Set yourself up for success from the start by taking the time to find out what location will be best before you just jump in hoping for the best.
Pick a Niche
If you're selling into a dying niche, "What in the world are you thinking?" Unless you have superpowers to bring people and things back from the dead, stay away from a niche that's decreasing in market size. On the opposite end, be careful of a trending niche that's on the rise, as it may be flooded, making it difficult to get any real traction.
Know Your Market
I know you think you know what type of people or companies are going to buy your products and services, but that may not be the case in the end. Test your product or service once you have it ready to see what market segments will most likely buy what you're selling. I can tell you first hand; it's not always who you think it's going to be.
Needless to say, if you're just copying another product or making it less expensive, the path to long term success is going to be difficult. Be unique, be exciting, be different, and look to position your product or service as one of a kind. A bit of personal sweat equity in regards to creating a unique idea will go a long way.
If there's one trait you can have that will give you an advantage over your competition, it's being flexible. Give employees and customers opportunities to be involved in partnership success. Maybe an employee wants to work from home, it's ok, as long as they get their stuff done, or perhaps a client needs special terms, that's fine, as long as they have excellent credit and have never stiffed anyone before.
Hire Great People
Great companies hire great people; it's that simple. Invest time into finding people that will get the job done right for you the first time. Yes, you may have to pay them a bit more, but who cares, it's easier to overpay one person than underpay three other people. In the end, having lazy employees is going to cost you way more than if you just hire the one person that works quickly and gets the job done, on time, every time.
Launch When Ready
No one has the ability to see into the future and tell you when the perfect time to launch is. If you wait for perfection, it may well never come, so at some point, you just need to make the best-educated decision you can and just do it. I know companies that launched when they thought it was the best time to, and it ended up being the absolute worst time, so use your gut and what you know about the market, and make the best choice you can based on the information you have in front of you at that time.
When you launch, put all your effort into it and be like a circus clown that just got shot out of a rocket. Fly high, get out there, do every bit of PR work you can, and leave no stone unturned. Lock down deals and form as many new strategic partnerships as you can, as fast as you can.
Have Money to Spare
Blow all your money in product development, and you're in trouble. Be smart; you always need to have some reserves. The best way to have money to spare is to make money selling your product or service. Again, if you're waiting for perfection, stop; it may not be pretty or perfect in the beginning, but you need to sell what you have so that you can keep the lights turned on and keep some money in the bank in case you need it.
Watch Every Dollar
I always say, "The best time to put away money is when you're making the most money," but people and companies don't. They think that they're going to continue to blow the cover off the ball, and when business slows down, they realize that they haven't been watching every dollar that they've been spending, and now they have all kinds of overhead that needs to immediately be cut so they can stay in business. Be smart with your money.
Take Care of Customers
The customer is always right. There's always a way to keep a customer happy. Yes, sometimes you'll need to give a little to continue to be able to take a little, but if you stop giving, you'll definitely stop getting. Create a win-win symbiotic experience where both the customer and you are mutually benefiting from the business relationship.
Be Part of Your Business
You need to live and breathe your business. I'm not saying put it in front of everything else in your life, i.e., family, but when you're there, be there, be committed, be engaged, and maximize every second of the day. There's no time to waste eating long lunches. Pack a lunch instead and eat on the go. Your business is an extension of you, so take care of it, just like you'd take care of yourself.
Stay Calm and Cool
Don't let your customers see you sweat. Getting fired up and acting crazy and irrational will push customers away, and that's not what you're in business to do. Be the person who runs into the burning house, grabs the animals and people to safety, and then runs back in to fight the blaze. You need to be the quarterback of your team, and your example will set a precedent for the rest of your team.
Put Forth Maximum Effort
As the old saying goes, "Maximum effort, gets maximum results." Be the person that people look at and wonder how they do it all. One way to put forth maximum effort is to work smart. Learn how to automate and cut down on repetitive manual tasks. You truly get what you put in, so put in a lot, and you'll get a lot back, put in a little, and that's what you can expect to get back.
I saved the best for last. You need to be able to get knocked down, get right back up, and get back engaged. The ability to recover quickly is vital for your long term success.
There you have them, 17 ways to set your business up for success. Like I shared above, "If you're going to run a business, you may as well do it right." The best thing you can do now is to get started by implementing what you've learned.
Brandon Schaefer: Sales Training
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