1. Evaluate your three Ps
Entrepreneur and angel investor Marcus Lemonis believes three key components can make or break the success of any business: people, product and process.
People: Lemonis says it’s not just critical to have the right people on board, but to also have them in the right roles. He is a proponent of creating an ‘enabling’ environment for staff – where they feel valued and can perform at their best.
Product: Evaluate your product – is it connecting with your target customers? Put yourself into the mind of your customers and try to see things objectively to ensure your key marketing characteristics – pricing, packaging, sizing and targeting – are having the intended impact.
Process: How cost-effective and efficient are your processes? A company’s operations are key to ensuring efficiency and opportunities to scale, according to Lemonis.
2. Offer customers convenient payment options
One of the biggest pain points for small business is cash flow. So it makes commercial sense to use e-commerce tools to your advantage.
3. Boost your online presence
The reality of business today is that it’s an online world. And to get inside the hearts and minds of your customers, you need to be where they are – increasingly, that is on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube. Social media can be a simple and cost-effective way to communicate with your customers. But it’s not just having a presence – it’s about being active. It’s about thinking how you can add value to your customers via social media, and matching your content to different platforms and audiences.
Develop a plan, keep a content strategy in mind (ensure it is on brand,) and work at building your community to help spread word-of-mouth about your products or services.
Made make sure it’s backed up with excellent customer service to give your customers a reason to share their experience.
4. Set goals and hold yourself accountable
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment,” said American entrepreneur Jim Rohn.
Set aside time to think about the vision for your business. What are the key goals you wish to achieve in your business in the months ahead? Record the steps you need to take to reach those goals. Surround yourself with people who can assist you and create an environment conducive to achieving your goals.
The probability of achieving your goals, is directly related to how much you desire them, according to Matthew Michalewicz, author of Life in Half a Second: How to achieve success before it’s too late.
“Desire is the fuels that drives human achievement,” Michalewicz says.
So what does Michalewicz advise? “The exercise that I love the most is for people to identify the three or five most negative things in their life or business ... and align your goals to those negatives, because research shows that you will do more to address negatives or to avoid a loss than you would for some hypothetical benefit.”
5. Adopt this equation for business success
Business trainer and author John Spence has created a formula for business success. The equation?
Talent + Culture + Extreme Customer Focus x Disciplined Execution = Business Success.
On talent: “You need the brightest, most talented, values-based people you can possibly get on your team,” Spence says.
On Culture: “If the success of your business is truly tied to the quality of the talent you can attract your team… culture is key because highly talented people want to work with other great people.”
And on Extreme Customer Focus: “Building a culture of extreme customer focus, where your organisation ‘owns the voice of the customer’, is one of the surest ways to control the marketplace,” Spence says.
To complete the equation, Spence says you have to combine the first three elements of Talent, Culture and Extreme Customer Focus and ensure the entire team executes with discipline.
“It does you no good whatsoever to hire great people, create an amazing culture, and do a superior job of listening to your customers – if you cannot instill a high level of disciplined execution so that your great ideas are turned into massive action.”