This article was last updated on February 9, 2017
For any business owner, running a successful business takes time, energy, and a lot of hard work. However, putting in the hard yards is no guarantee of success. For those who are considering setting up and operating a business, this expert guide will cover the top tips on how to be successful at running a business enterprise. Let’s get started.
How To Be Successful At Running A Business Enterprise
Begin With The End In Mind
When we first think of starting our own enterprise we may have a vision of what our successful business might look like in the future.
This is sometimes encapsulated in a vision or mission statement; the first step in preparing a business plan. Beginning with the end in mind allows you to identify those qualities that define a successful business. When considering your own business this may include measurable factors such as the volume of sales required to maintain a profit, the nature and location of distribution channels, human resources, plant and infrastructure as well less tangible qualities such as workplace culture, business ethics and philanthropy.
Once you have identified and documented the factors that define success you can begin to work backwards – developing a plan outlining all the steps, tasks and activities required to get there. When you add timeframes and budgets you have the beginnings of a solid path to achieving your goals. A plan with key milestones and deadlines will also help you to identify whether you are on track to achieving your business objectives, as well as to identify whether there are any potential obstacles that may impede your progress.
Make sure you always have a contingency plan in place to manage your business if and when things do go wrong. For example, if your business depends on technology; have a disaster recovery plan should your technology infrastructure fail.
By starting at the end and planning backwards it makes it a lot easier for you to recognise and determine which steps you need to take to operate your business successfully.
Always Strive To Be The Best
I always encourage business owners to strive to be the best, or at least the second best at what they do. This doesn’t necessarily mean being the biggest, or having the widest range of products and services in a given market, it simply means focusing your business on the customer experience. There are plenty of successful niche operators who understand their market and tailor their services accordingly. This is particularly important if you are operating in an environment where you and your competitors are offering homogenous services. At the end of the day, it’s the quality of your service that differentiates your business from your competitors.
Keep The Customer In The Forefront
When running your business, it’s crucial to keep customers at the forefront of everything you do. While this doesn’t necessarily mean the customer is always right, it does mean that you need to create a great customer experience as this is paramount to your success. When a customer has a great experience, they’ll tell their friends and colleagues. In today’s ‘connected online environment,’ reputation is paramount.
Identify Your Most Profitable Clients
If your business depends on long term relationships and repeat business from existing clients, you may find that over time some clients consume more of your time, energy and resources than others. It’s worthwhile exercise to regularly review and segment your client base according to revenue and profitability. You may find that your most profitable clients share similar qualities. This may be by geographic location, socio-demographic characteristics as well as age, gender etc. With the benefit of these insights you can begin to develop your ideal client profile and adjust your marketing and sales promotion activities accordingly.
Segmentation also allows you to identify your least profitable clients. Armed with this information you may decide that it no longer makes business sense to continue to service clients who are costing you money.
Hire Good People To Surround You
Always recruit people who share your passion and enthusiasm. Hire good people with the expertise you need and then get out of the way. If you find there’s one or two people who aren’t as committed as you’d like them to be, it may be best to find someone who is more fitting for the role in your company.
Be Open To New Ideas
The commercial landscape is constantly changing with many new entrepreneurs leveraging emerging opportunities as well as some businesses failing due to a failure to remain relevant or to adapt to change.
In order to remain successful into the future it’s essential to monitor the market, your competitors, and emerging trends.
In today’s online environment, understanding technology and the role it plays in streamlining efficiency is essential to business success. The most successful business operations in the world are the ones that are open to change and the ones that are constantly looking to evolve and innovate in their industry. If you’re unsure whether it’s a good business decision, don’t be afraid to hire specialist help when you need it to help guide you through any tough decisions. Many major business owners are successful because of their specialist help they hire around them.
Running a business successfully is achievable, you just need to know which areas to focus on more and which ones to let go. If you place the hard work in you’ll find that over time, your business will be the successful business enterprise you’re hoping it will be. Are you ready to become a successful business owner?