To create business success you need to be resilient, flexible, honest and passionate. There are also strategies which when utilised in your business will assist you greatly.
Start by finding your market
The first step in creating business success is to makke sure that there is a market for what you are going to sell before you develop your idea or make your product. The same applies if you are adding new products or services.
It’s like a locksmith making a key and then looking for a lock that it fits. It’s a long and difficult task. Look around and you will see many successful businesses which have done it in this correct order. But not many who have done it the other way round.
So how exactly do you make sure there is a market? You could start with a survey or poll. In fancy terms this is called market research. But the real test is whether or not people will pay you for your offering.
To check that out you can start by developing the minimum viable product or service that you can and start selling it. That will very quickly let you know if people want it.
Or you could set up a simple website and tell customers what is coming. Then allow them the chance to try it when it’s ready by paying a small amount as a deposit. If they are willing to commit some money then many of them will be willing to pay the full price when it is available.
You can also offer a sample, a free offer of some kind and then see how many will buy the full priced deal.
Whatever you decide to try you will quickly find out if the market is really there before you spend too much time or money. And that’s really important to create business success.
Stand out to create business success
Many small business owners have a great deal of difficulty in standing out. This makes it very difficult for their business to be successful. Being average is only ever going to bring average (or less) results. It may just be easier to work for someone else if average is what you aspire to and the pay will be more regular.
I am not suggesting that you have to put your ego out there and tell people how wonderful you are – no that definitely doesn’t work. What you must do is be unique, be different, perhaps a bit extraordinary. For some ideas check out 16 perfect ways to create business uniqueness
If you don’t stand out then it is hard for customers to recognise you, to remember you and to tell others about your business. You will find that you need to spend time and money constantly telling new people about what you do.
But if your business is interesting and unique then it is easier for it to be remembered and talked about and recommended. Imagine if you saw a car on your way to work tomorrow which had clearly been given a creative paint job by the owners young children using bright colours. You would probably laugh, and at work you would be likely to tell others about the sight. That’s what you want for your business.
But remember – unique means one – you can only stand out in one way. So what will your business uniqueness be?
Being early but not first
Lots of my students think that their business service or product has been a first for it to be successful but actually this is often the reason that a business fails.
Let’s say you have invented a totally new kitchen device that no-one has ever thought of before such as when microwaves were invented. Before you can sell this device you need to first educate people about what it is and how it works. And you will need to convince them that it is safe. That’s going to cost a lot of money.
But imagine if you were the second or third microwave manufacturer to come into the market. Now you don’t have to spend as much educating people. You can focus instead on what makes it unique such as the colour range, size or that you can safely dry the dog in it. (Do not attempt this last idea please).
It also means that your business can move into a market for a product or service that already exists, take a share of that market and create business success.
This is what happened when bench-top cookers, slow cookers and air-fryers turned up after microwaves. Being able to cook food easily without using the oven was already something that we all recognised and these were just different ways of doing it.
And we know that even having very similar products works – think of how many car companies there are selling so many different models. They are all cars but by not trying to focus just on something totally new they can instead focus on marketing to different car-buying customers.
You can do the same. Your offering might be similar to other businesses but you can make it more exclusive or easier to get or longer lasting and target customers who want only what you are selling. An example of this is Toyota who sell Corollas (NZs most popular car) and also Lexus cars which attract a completely different set of buyers.
Measuring only what matters
You can create business success by only measuring the numbers that truly matter for your business. Numbers like repeat purchases, actual costs, number of referrals and the marketing cost of getting a new customer.
Unsuccessful businesses either don’t measure anything or just measure numbers which make them feel good. They spend money advertising on social media and may measure how many clicks on their website resulted. But they don’t measure how long the person stayed or whether or not they signed up or purchased something.
Likes, clicks, emojis and engagements mean nothing if the people don’t go on to take action such as signing up for your newsletter or course or buying something from you. So this is why you need to decide what the right numbers are that you should be measuring and make sure you do it every week.
And measure lots of different aspects of your business. What is your most profitable product or service, where do your customers find you and which customer gets you the most referrals are examples of worthwhile measurements to create business success.
Every time you spend money it is useful to measure whether or not it was well spent. What was the outcome you wanted and did you achieve it? Money is important to maintaining your business success so ensuring it is spent correctly is also important.
Building the best team
Another sure-fire way to create business success is to ensure that you have the best team possible. And, the way to achieve that is to be the kind of business that people really want to work for. That way you aren’t desperately trying to find good staff – they are desperate to have the opportunity to work for you.
So what makes a business attractive to staff – think back to the best or worst job you ever had. Most people I speak to and ask this question of say that the best was when they were encouraged and given freedom to get on with their job. They were also given extra responsibility and their boss communicated really well with them.
If you haven’t experienced that sort of job then focus instead on the worst boss you ever had and work out why they were so bad. Now you can plan to do the exact opposite and that should help you to be a magnet for great staff.
Don’t be afraid to employ people who are smarter than you. They will help to make your business smarter and more successful. Try not to employ only people who are just like you. Your customers are a real mix and your staff need to be too. Employing a diverse range of people in your team can give you a much better insight into all the parts of the market that you are selling to.
Respecting your customers
You will create business success when you let your customers know that you respect their decision to buy from you.
This respect will be reflected in your standards of customer service and in your recognition of those customers who buy from you on a regular basis.
Everyone thinks that they offer great customer service but most don’t have systems and processes which ensure that the customer always gets the correct level of service no matter who is looking after them.
Customers love reliability – knowing that their experience will be the same every time they buy from you. But if you don’t have systems for doing things the same way each time then their experience can vary greatly.
And loyalty needs to be rewarded too. Whether it is an unexpected thank you card sent with an order or a loyalty discount doesn’t really matter. What matters is that they are recognised and thanked on a regular basis. But not so often that it just seems like it is meaningless. You’re going to need a system for that too to make sure it happens.
Your team also need to believe in respecting your customers because you are not going to be able to be involved in every transaction but you need to be comfortable that it will be done exactly as it would if you were involved.
Customers who feel respected and delighted are customers who will buy from you again when the need arises. Giving you their money will feel good and occasionally they may even mention your business to someone else – what a gift that will be.
Business success and you
It may seem like I am giving you a lot of work to do but creating business success does require a big effort – if you are not keen on big effort then owning your own business may not be a great idea.
The rewards of doing the work and achieving success will be whatever you choose when you set your goals and decide what success looks like for you. It isn’t all about the money, it could be about providing employment for family or others who matter to you. Or having the chance to improve your community or the planet.
Whatever your business success looks like these steps will ensure that you are able to create it starting today.
How to create business success?
- Find your market first
- Stand out to create business success
- Being early but not first
- Measuring only what matters
- Building the best team
- Respecting your customers
©Robyn Forryan 2021
The Biz Coach NZ