The five key success factors of strategic focus, people, operations, marketing and finance help companies identify and maximize their potential. It's about finding and improving the overlooked, hidden and underperforming opportunities that exist in your own company. It's about getting more for less, optimizing and multiplying the results on the key factors of success with minimal effort, expense and risk. Poor financial management, planning, anticipation and foresight are the main reasons for business failure.
Using the right financial information will help you make the right daily decisions and avoid the 20 dumb mistakes that smart business owners make. Marketing and sales are about creating an advantage in the market by consistently testing and measuring your results. Not every strategy you try will work for you. You have to understand the fundamental principles of marketing in business and keep trying different things, and constantly improve the result until you get a tried, tested and predictable result.
This includes key members of your team and partners. Building the winning team means getting people to work well together. The right people do the right things at the right time, in the right way and for the right reasons. It's about relationships, trust, attitude, contribution, responsibility and execution.
Regardless of the driving force behind a business, certain success factors have a greater impact depending on where the company is in its growth cycle. For example, a new startup's critical success factors for growth will be money, marketing and product. As the company grows, other factors such as owner development, equipment and systems also become very important. Although each of them is as important as the other, the most important critical success factors for growth will always be money, marketing and product.
Most companies approach product - they offer a product or service that is good enough to be successful. According to countless research findings, the biggest challenge for small businesses is marketing, sales and money. But the one key factor responsible for most successes and failures is money management. You can read the article How to eliminate the biggest money mistakes in small businesses for more information. After failing many times in business, I agree with many business analysts that poor management of money is one of six main factors responsible for corporate bankruptcy.
One of the most important business lessons I have learned over 30 years - which most contributed to business success - was from Steven Walker (California), who taught me that all information needed to make right decisions regarding his business is in his numbers. It will provide you with financial anticipation and foresight to make right daily decisions. Do you want to know where to spend your advertising money? Where most of your business comes from? What are your most valuable products and customers? Where is there significant potential for growth and profitability? Listen to your numbers - they will guide you! Without these numbers you won't be able to make accurate daily decisions. Another way to think about optimization is to use 80-20 rule - this “rule” tells you that five or nine key success factors are more important than everything else combined in terms of how much money you make. If you reapply 80-20 rule you'll find that one or two of those factors are more important than all others combined - so you'll want to work on them first! Integrity has been revealed to be an important aspect of business success - being honest, open and transparent with employees, consumers and shareholders will earn you respect and help you retain talented workers and loyal customers. On other hand dishonesty can undo company's image of trust!Having a plan is first necessity for success - not all companies have it from start (I'm thinking of Whitbread which started as brewery but more recently reinvented itself and became hospitality industry) but once direction has been established it's important to have clarity about direction of company to communicate it to staff investors and rest of world - this is arguably most important success factor! All new start-ups I've encountered find it difficult at first then it gets even more difficult - founders are typically tested to limit of what they can handle usually far beyond - their vision of success sustains them during this testing period until they finally get momentum they need and business becomes more stable! If you don't have perseverance needed to overcome these difficulties business won't survive!I really enjoyed completing courses with Impellus - it was pleasure learning from David Ross as well as meeting like-minded people from various businesses - throughout 3 courses I have gained perspective on myself as leader on leadership & departments of company: how we can work better as team highlight our strengths be more efficient & productive & take company to next level!The key success factors for any business are money management, marketing strategy, product development, owner development, equipment/systems development and perseverance.
Money management is arguably the most important factor responsible for successes or failures in business. Having accurate financial information will help make better daily decisions while avoiding common mistakes made by smart business owners. Marketing strategy involves creating an advantage in the market by consistently testing and measuring results until a tried-tested-and-predictable result is achieved. Product development requires offering a product or service that is good enough to be successful while owner development involves building a winning team with people who work well together. Integrity is also an important aspect of business success - being honest with employees, consumers and shareholders will earn respect while dishonesty can undo a company's image of trust.
Having a plan is essential for success; once direction has been established it's important to communicate it clearly with staff investors and rest of world. Perseverance is also necessary; founders are typically tested beyond their vision of success until they finally get momentum they need for their business to become more stable.