When starting or running a business there are many factors that come in to play, some being crucial in determining whether your venture will take off or collapse. When it comes to business success you need to look at social factors, financial factors, technology, human resources, marketing and product development as well as customer service and sales. But more importantly, you need to know the product you are selling and keep your best customers coming back for more.
A Business Plan
Have a clear vision of what it is you hope to achieve with your business. Set financial goals, staffing goals, product development goals and personal satisfaction goals. This will give you a framework to grow your business and ensure that it doesn't end up in the red. Every quarter, review the results of your progress and update your plans as you go along. Get a financial picture in terms of budget and cash flow, and tweak your plan to increase profits and reduce overheads. Having a plan will allow you to correct possible losses early in the game and increase your chances of succeeding.
The Best Location
Where you choose to operate your business is very important. Opening a fine dining restaurant in an industrial factory neighbourhood might not get you the clientele needed to keep you business afloat. Likewise, opening a cafe in a shopping mall with six similar cafes does not bode well. If you are offering a service, you want to be situated in a place where there will be plenty of companies or individuals who will need your service. It works to your advantage if there is less competition within close proximity to where you set up shop. Also consider rental costs, parking and accessibility when choosing a location.
High Value Customers
According to the Pareto principle, 80 per cent of your business will come from 20 per cent of your clients. Therefore it is crucial that you retain the patronage of your best and highest paying customers. To do this, ensure that your products are of a high quality and meet the needs of these customers. Interact constantly with them to find out what they need and expect from you. Always stay creative and develop new products and new methods of marketing and delivery. This will give you an edge on your competitors. Keep your clients satisfied with a high quality of customer service. A client who trusts you and feels good working with you is more likely to come back and recommend their associates to do business with you.