Running a small business isn’t always easy. Running a successful one can prove even more difficult. In fact, about 50 per cent of small businesses fail within their first four years, meaning the stakes are high right out of the gate. Fortunately, there are a few ways that businesses can buffer that stat and get a leg up on the ladder of success.
First and foremost, small businesses should identify and maintain strong core values. Choose values that are so central, clear and functional that they weave themselves into the very fabric of your company. For example, build a brand or company around ideas such as compassion, excellence and communication. After strong values have been chosen, keep them in mind at all stages of the business journey, from transactions to the hiring process.
It’s easy to celebrate the top dog in a company such as a CEO or upper management, but reflect on all of the levers that had to be pulled to create a success. If an associate-level employee had to deliver on X to make Y happen, then they were part of the winning equation and should therefore be celebrated and recognized for their contribution and achievements. Similarly, everyone has a voice that deserves to be heard. In addition to celebrating everyone’s success, pay attention to their worries or concerns. The company can’t move forward without the entire staff moving forward, so ensuring everyone is on the same page and level is crucial to progression.
The final ingredient for success is thinking bigger picture. If you’ve noticed that your clientele seems to consistently give negative feedback over a transaction process such as returns, instead of apologizing and pacifying that one customer, reassess the entire process. The former option creates temporary solutions to problems that could become permanent without the proper treatment.
No matter if you’re a first-time business owner or a seasoned veteran, getting lost in the shuffle of business can seem inevitable. A piece of advice is to cast your idea of what drives success aside and instead focus on what drives your business (your values, encouragement and visions). Instead of trying to create success at every corner, create an environment that fosters success and it will find its way to you.
Jared Powell, CEO, Frontier Label