There’s no secret formula for success in business, there’s no genie in a lamp that will magically offer everything we need for our businesses to be successful and there’s no absolution that whatever strategy we employ is guaranteed to work. But despite the odds, despite what intangible (and sometimes, tangible) obstacles that stand in our way, we can succeed and often will if we remember what a successful business truly needs to survive, sustain and grow.
- Products/ Services
- Ourselves (as the owner/ proprietor/ founder)
It’s a very short list, but all intertwined. Every one of these pillars are needed, and without one, the others will suffer and so will the business.
— Employees: Granted, about 3/4 of all small businesses in the US are owned and operated by a single person. Which means, one person, a solopreneur, is running and handling all the operational and functional needs of the business. But regardless of how many or how few employees the company has (even if we’re the only one in the company) is dependent on how well those employees are treated and how well the understand the vision of the company. Because employees are the ones that attract additional talent, bring in customers and maintain the operation of the company, it helps to treat and value them as investors and make them feel they have a stake in the company. When the company does well, so do they.
— Customers: If we have no customers, we have no business. Plain and simple. Who are we selling to? Who are we providing services to? Customers are what opens a business and what keeps the doors open. But don’t monetize customers. They’re people too, and they would prefer to interact with the human side of our business. That means listening to their concerns and feedback. This is where great customer service comes in provided by great employees that understand the vision and mission of the business.
— Product/ Service: If we have nothing to offer, again, who are we selling to? What can we offer that no one else can or can be better and improved? There should be a need for the what our businesses offer, no matter how small the niche market is. If we’re providing a product or service that people don’t want or need, then we’ll have no customers. And no customers means no business. As entrepreneurs and business owners, we have to seek out a need to fill or improve the quality of life. If we find something that does that, we’re onto to something.
— Ourselves: We are forever our own worst critics. We create the self-doubt, the second guesses, the worry, the anxiety and timidness that can hold us back. But we’ve also brainstormed some of the greatest ideas, concepts and dreams known to us. What we lack sometimes is the belief that we can actually accomplish those dreams. So it’s important that no matter what, no matter what we’re up against, and matter who tells us “no” and how often we hear it, we continue to believe in ourselves and in our dreams. We have to know like we know like we know that our business will succeed.
Without one of these pillars, we have a wobbly frame at best. It’s important to remember that creating a successful business doesn’t happen at the snap of our fingers or the at the sound of our voice. It takes real work, real planning and real execution to really build a business. But what we use to build our business is just as important as the business itself.
Does any one pillar stand out as more important?
[*Photo Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net/ scottchan]