A fellow cannot expect to create and sustain a successful business by merely clicking his fingers. Here are seven characteristics that every successful businesses (whether a large company or a single project run by an individual) should have. The first five deal with the staffing team (and their approach, organisation, mindset, etc.) and the last two with the product and business environment.
1 – Devotion
A successful business needs a devoted team of people (or individual) who are buzzing with ideas and full of enthusiasm for the enterprise. They cannot expect to be successful by just doing the bare minimum…they all need to be committed to the project, and devote time, energy and money into it. Give it your all, your very best!
2 – Communication
Communication is essential, both in a business’ internal management and with its external operations. Staff members need to know what to do, external relations with potential customers, business partners, and etc. are key – customers need to know about products/services/your company, affiliates/business partners need to be kept informed.
A business needs to be contactable (there should not be a delay in replying to an email for example). Remember the customers, they are the ones who buy your products; they are who you should place first and foremost.
3 – Planning
Planning your next step is essential in business. You need to be ready to face issues as they pop up in the future (e.g. financial problems or a new competitor) – anticipate them. Obviously there does need to be a strong element of flexibility within your enterprise, something that is definitely easier with a smaller project. You need the ability to shape, change and adapt yourself to fit your target market. As the American, Benjamin Franklin wisely said:
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
There is also a great need to be clear in your own mind about what you plan to do and how you plan to achieve it. You need to have clear targets, aims and objectives; for each day, week or month (depending on the type of business). If you the leader, do not have a clear idea of what you want to achieve then neither will the members of your staff team. Organisation and communication (as already mentioned) are key.
4 – Integrity
Your brand needs to be recognised as one that is reliable, honest, polite and sensible. People can be very cautious, especially with smaller less known companies trading over the internet. Reputation is a key to success; make sure that yourself and everyone in your team fully understands the importance of this.
5 – The importance of Teamwork (even if you are working by yourself)
It can be very hard slogging by yourself; so if your the only one on the team, perhaps you should consider recruiting another like-minded individual. Or at the very least ask what family and friends think of your project. It’s always good to get a second opinion.
You don’t want to be caught-up in your own little world of cliche’s. You may be the greatest brain in the world, but a second persons ideas or advice can still make a world of difference. Accept criticism, and see if what the critic says is really true; put yourself in their shoes as well.
6 – Unique selling point(s)
Crucial in selling your products/services.Your project may be great, but so are millions of others, the online market is extremely hard to get into. What is so great and unique about your idea, that makes it better than anything else? You need to be offering a game-changing product. You need to understand the market and environment around you; and also take into account the current trends that might affect the buying decisions taken by customers in your market.
7 – Freshness and innovation
You can’t sell mouldy fruit (at least not where I live!). In the same way you can’t expect to succeed with an out-of-date product.
Big companies like Apple don’t sell and promote their products from a rotten old lean-to in Aunty Ethel’s back-garden. Neither can you find success by selling your products from an out of date platform (e.g. a website designed ten years ago).
You have to keep up. Technology changes fast. The market changes fast. The internet and technological marketplace is rapidly developing (iPad’s and tablets have only been around for four years, yet they are as commonplace nowadays as pigeons in Trafalgar Square. The revolutionary video-game – Minecraft has only been around for three years; yet it has sparked an incredible number of ‘SandBox’ type computer games. Thousands of people earn their keep, by producing videos based on games like Minecraft to websites like YouTube; this is something that would have been unheard of a few years ago.) You need to be at the fore-front of it all. You need to be able to change and adapt fast to the world around you.
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