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Keys to Business Success

If you're starting a new business or continuing to run an existing business then it's clear you need strategies in place to help your business succeed.

If you've been running an existing business and you are still treading water then it's clear you need to change the way you do things. If you've been doing the same things year after year, expecting different results then you are insane according to Albert Einstein...

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Too many businesses fail because they are purely thinking about their bottom line - how much profit they made last year and how much profit they are going to make next year instead of looking further down the line...and we aren't talking about what kind of profits you are going to make in 10 years time. It is better to consider what assets you have in your business and use them to improve your business. Your assets are a big key to the success of your business, assets such as customer list, employees, business systems and ventures with your business partners.

Your mission statement should help you think about what you are trying to achieve - if you haven't got one yet then you should definitely write your own mission statement.

Compile a comprehensive SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) of your business is critical to assess your opportunities, generate business ideas and focus on which to go after.

Take a good look at your current marketing strategies. Don't be afraid to experiment, try to tap into different markets - you never know until you've tried something - don't assume something won't pay off until you've tried it - use a scientific approach to your marketing strategies.

Set your company achievable goals - there is no point in shooting for the moon when all you have is a long ladder! Failure is bad for moral so give yourself a chance of succeeding. Set goals for several years into the future and break them down into smaller more manageable chunks.

Make sure you track your progress, you need to have things in place to see how well or how poorly you are performing. If you don't know how you are doing, how do you know what to change, or what aspects of your business you need to focus on to bring them up to speed. Do you know how many unique visitors are coming to your site each month? Do you know how much the average spend is. Do you know the average profit per sale?

By using split testing where you just change one thing about your business you can see if that has had a positive impact on your business or not. If you have no way of monitoring the situation then you simply haven't a clue - you are guessing - and guessing is usually bad for business. Try to take the guesswork away from your business decisions.

You should know your target audience - if you don't know who your average customer is then what hope do you have of selling to them? Once you know who your customer is you can laser target them with great offers and target market them so you are getting great bang for your buck.

In this day and age it is easier to start from small acorns - focus on what you are good at - find your business niche. Once you have fully explored your niche then you can move on and expand your business into other areas.

Examine your competition and think of the worst case scenario - how could they change their business to impact you. What are the steps you need to take to prevent this from happening?

What are the future resources you are likely to need? These resources might be your team - do you need to re-train or give training? Do you need to employ more skillful people into your business?

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