Anyone can start a business; if you look hard enough, you will find something that suits your skills and budget. Running a successful business, on the other hand, is much more difficult. You could have a million dollar idea, yet if you overlook these three tenets of a successful business, you are sunk.
1. Using data to make the right decision
In the old days, if your business was successful, you kept doing the same thing because it was working. If your business was not doing so well during a particular time frame, you probably tried to switch things up a little to get you back in the black. More often than not, that was merely guesswork.
Today, guessing is not good enough. Make the wrong move; your competitors will be more than happy to take your share of the market. You need software that collects more than sales data. You need to keep track of who bought what, what they bought with it, and sometimes even when they bought it.
Some companies do this by creating reward programs that reward the customers but more importantly help businesses gather information. Collecting this data and using analytical tools allow companies to make informed decisions rather than guessing.
Of course, it is paramount that the collected data be secure and as more of this data is stored in virtual systems like the cloud, you need to make use of network security firms like Trend Micro, which keeps data secure from hackers.
2. Creative and Innovative marketing
So you have a great product, or you are skilled in a service; if people have no idea your business exists you will not generate any revenue. If you expect people to flock to your business, you need to market yourself and best of all, you do not need to break the bank to do it.
First off, you need an online presence, but it is not enough to put a website up and forget it. You need to build a website that includes information about your business, and engaging content.
Create an amazing and informative blog and develop a following by being active on social media. Let people know what you can do for them in a way that is natural and not intrusive.
Contrary to popular belief, people still use business cards. Standard business cards are relatively cheap, and some companies even offer them for free (shipping not included).
Everyone you meet gets a card. The point is that the more people who know about your business, the more likely people will remember your product or service when they need it.
Talk yourself up. If you did not believe in your service, you never would have gone into business. You are not a braggart if you are telling the truth. Having said that, do not promise a product or service unless you can deliver.
You have one shot to make a good impression; most clients or customers will not give you a second chance if you fail. Worse yet, a disappointed customer is more likely to tell their friends about their experience. That is not the word-of-mouth marketing you need.
3. Hiring the right and smart people
Your employees are the lifeblood of your business’ success. More often than not, they are ones representing the frontline of your business, so you need to ensure you hire the right people and rid yourself of the ones who are detrimental to your success.
The most important thing to consider when bringing on a new employee is their personality. They need to fit into the business culture that you are trying to cultivate. Skills can be taught; you cannot teach a personality.
A prospect’s extensive experience is not as important as their ability to navigate situations that require soft skills like emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills.
If you are not checking a potential hire’s social media profiles, you are doing yourself and your business a disservice. How someone acts on social media is a good indicator of what type of person they are and whether or not they fit in your business’ atmosphere.
Remember, once in a while, you will end up with a hire that ended up being a mistake. End their employment before you end up investing too much time trying to solve the problems. Running a business is hard enough on its own, let alone having to also deal with a challenging employee.
Letting people know who you are and what you do; creating a team of people who will buy into your business; and making decisions based on fact are arguably the three most important aspects of a successful business. Failure to focus on these areas and your business will end up being another statistic.