Businesses succeed for many reasons, but they often fail due to mistakes that could have been easily prevented. Therefore, before you can succeed in business, you must define what success means to you. For example, for some entrepreneurs, just keeping the doors open is a success. And for others, success is measured in money in the bank. Yet, other business owners want to build cause-based businesses.

To succeed in business is to know what you want and to figure out a way to get there.

Some business owners are more excited about starting a business than planning and making strategic decisions. As a result, they jump in without a clear idea of what a successful business looks like. Without defining, in advance, what success looks like, achieving your dreams is impossible.

Typical measures of business success include:

  • Your company’s growth.
  • The money the business provides you.
  • Your ability to keep control of your business for your partners or your family.

There’s no one standard because entrepreneurs don’t all enter business for the same reason. Choosing your definition of a successful business is the best path to satisfaction.

Business success depends on product, price, place and promotion

Business success and your product

Your product (or service) is one of the most important factors for your business’s success. If you want to succeed in business, you should ask this question first “Does my product (or service) meet the needs of the target customers?”

The best thing about this question is that you cannot truthfully answer it without understanding your target customers. To evaluate your product and its potential place in the market, you have to research the availability of alternatives. In other words, what are your competitors offering?

Competition can be direct (Google Docs is a direct competitor for Microsoft Office) or indirect (Google Docs’ indirect competition could be Evernote or a brand new startup revolutionizing how we create and edit office documents). Successful businesses create products (or services) that deliver unique value for their target market. For them to succeed in business, they have to deliver a product (or service) that is above and beyond anything else currently available in the market.

Business success and pricing

Pricing is an essential yet challenging aspect of business success. Unfortunately, many businesses fail for many reasons one of them is because they keep their prices too low. They believe that a low price is always best, but that’s not true.

Your desired position in the market should drive pricing decisions. For example, if your strategy is to be a discounter, low prices are important. But, it’s incredibly difficult to compete on price. Some of the most successful businesses are discounters (Walmart, Tesco, Aldi). Do you want to compete against these companies?

The price you set for your product (or service) will impact your desired profit margins. Pricing a product that doesn’t yield enough business income is a step toward business failure. But, a price that’s too high will also hurt your business because it will result in fewer sales.

Business success and place

Businesses cannot be successful if customers don’t have access to their products (or services).

Place is a key success factor for every business:

  • Manufacturers – Factories and manufacturers must ensure that retailers and resellers have their products in time and good order.
  • Retailers – Brick and mortar retailers must carefully select the ideal location for their business. The wrong location could result in business failure.
  • Ecommerce – Online retailers must constantly optimize the buying process. Without a simple buying process, the ecommerce business will fail.

Business success and promotion

Even the best product can fail without promotion. Promotion is a key success factor because, without it, customers will remain unaware of your offer.

Promotion must be designed to reach the right customers. You have to deliver the right messages at the right time at the right place. But, of course, this is only possible with an understanding of your target market.

Is there a special reason a business succeeds?

The undisputed fact of entrepreneurship is that most businesses fail. Success is rare, but it isn’t impossible.  When you start a business, you have to know that most companies fail. But what are the reasons companies go out of business?

From concept to business success

To be fair, failing in business is the only way to move forward.  When you look at the history of successful businesses, you will find that failure is part of their past.

How to turn ideas into business success?

Every successful business starts with an idea. Successful entrepreneurs figure out a way to turn ideas into reality. Sometimes you jot down a business idea after an unexpected burst of creativity. Other times, the business idea may be the result of a drawn-out analytical process.

Although the idea behind a business idea can sound exciting, it’s not the real secret to business success. Can you take your idea beyond a vision board? The process of taking an idea and transforming it into a successful business is the real secret. It’s the method to take an idea and build a business around it that separates ideas from products that dominate the market.

Everyone has an idea for a business. That’s the easy part. Successful companies are masters and transforming ideas into action items. Taking action is the first step toward business success.

If you are dead serious about building a successful business consider the following reasons companies succeed:

Why is leadership important for business success?

Success starts with a vision. Your vision for a company that creates a product or a service is the beginning of your journey to create a successful business. A visionary leader knows why she is in business. She may not always know the next step, but she is thinking about the business every waking hour, focusing on moving the company forward. She might be busy putting out fires today, but she is strategic about the long-term goals of the company.

So, how does leadership influence success?

It takes many people to build a successful business, but one poor leader can ruin a business. The decisions leaders make send ripples throughout the company, influencing everything from finance to operations.

Whether you manage or own the business, the right leadership style is essential for success.

Successful business leaders should have the following traits:

  • Purpose
  • Self-awareness
  • Decisiveness
  • Collaborative skills
  • Adaptability
  • People skills

Keep expenses low and succeed in business

For most businesses, especially early on, money is always tight. If you want to succeed in business, set a strict budget and stick to it.  Keep your expenses low. Never use credit for vanity projects such as office remodels. Keeping your costs low is a competitive advantage.

How to keep costs low in business?

Keep your costs as low as possible to make sure you never run out of money. This is especially critical until you have launched your product and have sales coming in.

Hiring people is exciting, but it’s expensive, which makes it extremely risky. As a result, successful companies only hire people they desperately need. To keep expenses low, work with freelancers and contractors before you hire full-time employees.

If your business model allows it, forgo an office for as long as possible. And, in general, spend money on the things your business needs to succeed, not the things you want.

Every new business requires some startup expenses. But if you don’t keep costs down, you might run out of money before your company has a chance to succeed. To optimize your business for cost cuttings, find new ways to cut expenses wherever you can. Get everyone involved in lowering business expenses. It will get everyone on board while keeping spending low.

Practical tips for reducing business expenses

  • Build a remote team to avoid having to pay for office space.
  • Before signing a contract or paying for anything, ask for a discount. You might be surprised how easy it is to get a 10-20% discount on products and services.
  • Use free or open-source software. There are open-source alternatives for virtually every business software solution.
  • Never pay for landlines. Is there a reason to operate your business on anything other than cell phones and virtual meeting apps?
  • Renegotiate credit card processing fees with your bank or payment processor.
  • Build strategic partnerships to lower your sales and marketing expenses.
  • Implement a paid internship program. Don’t implement an internship program to get a free workforce.
  • Work with freelancers and contractors before you hire full-time staff.
  • Buy used or pre-owned equipment. You could save up to 75% on buying used computers, furniture, machines and equipment.
  • Reduce your energy bills. If it’s time to replace appliances, make sure to buy energy-efficient ones.
  • Every year ask for new bids for business insurance. Use the bids to renegotiate with your current insurance provider or take your business to a less expensive insurance company.
  • Go paperless. It’s easier to do today than ever. It will save your business money, and it’s also good for the environment.
  • If you must pay for products or services, barter whenever you can. Exchanging services is a win-win for everyone and a great way to lower business expenses.
  • Only spend on measurable marketing and advertising. If you cannot measure it, don’t spend on it.

Speed to market is key to business success

Business is about competition. Your competitors want to steal your customers. They want you out of business. One less competitor means an easier life for your competitors.  Successful entrepreneurs know that speed to market is key to success. The faster you roll out your service, the more time you have to sell it. Work hard to work quickly to reach your market first.

Increase sales for business success

If you can sell, you are on your way to building a successful company. If you want to start a business and you are serious about success, you have to have a sales focus. You have to be the first and best salesperson in your business.

Networking for business success

You are only as powerful as the sum of your network. Build a network of people who can help you build a better business. Reach out to fellow entrepreneurs, potential clients and referral partners, influencers, and mentors. Successful entrepreneurs have powerful networks behind them.

A profitable business is a successful business

Focus on profitability from the early days of your business. You may not have a profitable business right away, but you should always know your profit margins. Understand what margins you must maintain to be able to continue to grow your business.

Why is perseverance important for business success?

As you build a business, there will be times when no one will believe that you can succeed. Customers might doubt you, your friends might doubt you, your spouse might doubt you, but you have to persevere. You have to push forward and keep believing in yourself and your business, even when nobody else does.

Learning and business success

Every day in business is an opportunity to learn. When you make a mistake, you are learning. When you guess right, you are learning.  The key aspect of learning is to do it fast. Be aware of what is happening in your business. Assess the situation, note what you have learned, and move forward using your new experience.

Succeed with the right investors

Many businesses can’t succeed without investors. Successful entrepreneurs not only know how to attract investors, but they also know how to attract the right investors. When you seek out an investor you aren’t only looking for dollars, you also searching for a business partner and mentorship.

Commitment to business success

One of the easiest things about business is to give up. There will be countless times when walking away from your business sounds like a great idea.  You might be running low on cash, or there could be a recession, someone could sue you. If you are going to succeed, you have to stay committed.

Productivity: Key to business success

There are countless ways to waste time. Successful entrepreneurs know how to stay productive. Understand that staying busy has nothing to do with being productive. You could spend a whole day learning about technology to help you improve a service, or you could spend twenty minutes on the topic, learn enough to take the next step and move on to the next project.