6 Qualities that Make a Small Business a Success

Success leaves clues. If you want to build a thriving small business, then the best approach is to look at other successful businesses in your industry – and start doing what they are doing. As you study other small business owners, you will see that many of them have certain things in common.

Even though every industry is unique, you can find trends and traits that build a foundation of success for every business. Here are some of the most important qualities that will impact whether your small business takes off, or sputters to a stop in just a few years:

#1: Customer-Focused Approach

Are you so focused on the profitability of your company that you overlook the needs of your customers? If you want to keep people coming back to buy again and again, then you need to create a crowd of raving fans. These are customers who love your products and services so much that they are happy to share your website with friends and family.

Prioritizing customer satisfaction is an effective way to be sure you are delivering the products your customers want to buy. When your goal is to deliver high-quality results for every customer, then you can be confident that your products will keep selling in the future. On the other hand, your business will struggle if you don’t have a list of loyal customers.

It’s important to understand that customers have higher expectations when it comes to customer service. A personalized touch can go a long way t creating the “wow factor” that keeps people coming back. Here are a few details to consider to ensure that you are building life-long relationships with satisfied customers:

  • Ease of communication
  • Highly trained customer service representatives
  • Efficient service
  • Fast shipping
  • User-friendly website
  • Product development and improvements
  • Listening to customer feedback

Start by creating a strong culture with the customers in the center of all initiatives. Is there anything you can do to improve products or processes to better serve the needs of your target demographic? Fostering customer satisfaction is an important step that fertilizes the soil for business growth.

#2: Leverage Business Resources

When a small business is high-performing, it means that you are using tools and resources to your advantage. Even the smallest decisions can add up to big profits or losses in the future. If you are getting sloppy with expenses or you are leaving money on the table in the sales process, then you could be losing out on thousands of dollars every week.

Yes, it’s important to invest money in your business. But consider your current resources before you start burying money into new projects. Ultimately, you can maintain operational efficiency that creates lean systems for long-term results.

At the same time, you need to make sure that all departments and business systems are aligned. If there are any areas of redundancy, then it’s time to implement a new system that puts a stop to the repetitive activities.

#3: Create Accountability

You can lead from the top with good management, but your efforts are limited to the tasks that you can complete personally in a single day. Instead of trying to do everything yourself, it’s more effective to pass responsibilities to other team members and employees. This process of creating accountability means that your business systems will keep running, regardless of whether you show up at the office each day.

Creating small business systems won’t be effective if your employees aren’t trained and held accountable for following those systems. This process starts by sharing your vision and maintaining strong communication with the team. Implement a good training structure and be clear about who holds the responsibility for specific actions that need to be happening regularly.

Finally, have a system of accountability so you can measure results through performance and consistency. You can’t improve a system that isn’t being measured. Checking in on the responsibilities of all team members can build a company culture of accountability – which improves productivity, and has a significant impact on overall results. The success of your business starts with the productivity and motivation of your team members.

#4: Design Business Objectives

How are you going to get to the finish line if you don’t know where you are going? If you want to achieve small business success, then you need to have a clear vision about the results you want to create. Setting a goal to “make more money” isn’t good enough – it’s too vague and doesn’t include action points that will lead to the results you desire.

Successful business owners have systems in place that include big goals, as well as stepping-stone goals that need to be met along the way. Here is an example of how you might break it down for your business:

  • Design a 5 Year Plan: How do you want your business to be performing in 5 years? If you are working out of your garage and doing it all yourself, then you might have a goal to hire 20 people and have a certain amount of annual revenue by the 5-year anniversary of launching your business. Take time to dial in your 5-year goal, because this plan is the foundation that affects other smaller goals.
  • Break it Down to Annual Milestones: Now that you can see where you are heading in five years, it’s time to look at specific milestones that need to be met annually. Remember that business growth doesn’t happen equally over five years. Often, things start slow… then you build momentum over time. Consider the most effective steps that need to be followed that will lead to your longer-term results. It’s smart to map out these annual goals right now. But be ready to re-evaluate and change annual goals at the beginning of each year, based on the progress and performance of the previous year.
  • Identify Quarterly Actions: Focusing on your annual goals is important, but you may miss the ongoing actions if you are always looking ahead on the calendar. How often have you set New Year’s resolutions, only to find that you have minimal progress when Thanksgiving rolls around? Instead of procrastinating your annual approach, treat each quarter as if the end of the year was happening at the end of the quarter. This method gives you four smaller chunks of 90-days. Then, you can re-evaluate each quarter to identify how things need to change so you can improve your results.
  • Look at Monthly Initiatives: Once you know where you want to be at the end of the quarter, now it’s time to look at the monthly milestones that will help you meet quarterly goals. It’s amazing how much you can get done in a month if you focus your efforts!
  • Refine to Weekly and Daily Activities: The real foundation that sets the stage for future business growth is in the activities you are following on a daily and weekly basis. These small actions might seem trivial, but the smallest steps snowball into huge results down the road. The best way to set your small business up for success is by understanding how your daily and weekly goals lead to results that are achieved months and years down the road.

The approach listed above shows how you can reverse-engineer the steps and goals that need to happen to reach higher levels of success. But remember that each business is different, which is why you need to identify the action steps that are most effective for your business and industry.

#5: Solid Marketing Strategy

While the goal is to have a great list of customers that continue purchasing products from your company, this won’t happen without bringing in new customers. It doesn’t matter if you have the best product in the world – people won’t buy if they don’t know about the products you are offering.

A good marketing campaign doesn’t mean that you are spamming the internet with ads. Instead, hire an experienced marketing team that can refine your strategy. The best way to leverage your marketing budget is by prioritizing your funds on the platforms where your target demographic spends the most time. For example, if your ideal customers are over the age of 65, then SnapChat or Instagram ads probably aren’t the most effective marketing method. Instead, you might focus on search engine optimization or Facebook ads that allow you to choose age groups and demographics.

Adapt your marketing plan when you find strategies that work. Also, focus on creating valuable content online if you are going to have real, engaging interactions with your customers.

#6: Solid Financial Plan

You can apply all of the above strategies, and still fail at your business efforts if you aren’t focusing on profits and losses. Creating a solid financial plan starts with common bookkeeping and accounting, then you can implement new financial strategies that boost the bottom line.

At Easier Accounting, we provide the small business accounting and bookkeeping services you need. As you are looking to build the future success of your company, we are here to help you achieve your goals. Call to learn more about the ways that we can help your small business: (888) 620-0770.

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