It’s true that some businesses begin and flourish based on the strength of their product, or the fact that they have found a gap in the market with no competitors, but these cases are rare. In most cases, businesses are built on substantial foundations which are added to steadily over time. While no two businesses are the same and the path to success rarely runs smoothly, when you examine the journeys of the most successful businesses, there are some common factors.
If you are starting a business and are concerned that you are missing a potentially vital ingredient, here are 6 essentials which can help an enterprise to increase their chances of success.
1. A unique (and profitable) product or service.
There are plenty of people out there who have thought of a great idea for a product or service, but then building a business out of it takes more than an idea. You need to be sure that what you’re bringing to the market offers at least one benefit which is unique. It could be a cheaper price or an extra technological feature, or an aspect of your customer service. You also need to be sure that your service or product will turn over a profit.
2. A detailed and well-researched business plan.
It’s absolutely crucial that you write a detailed business plan before you set out on your venture. This should include detailed research and analysis of the market, a financial budget with turnover and profit projections, a staffing plan, sales tactics and marketing strategies. You should also include an element of risk analysis which outlines potential problems and how you would overcome them.
3. Startup capital.
A surprising number of businesses try to launch without the necessary funding behind them with the intention to sell lots of products quickly, or to borrow in the short term. There will be numerous startup costs to consider which you may not be aware of. Find out more about the cost of starting a business.
4. Marketing and sales strategies.
You can have the best service or product the world has ever seen, but aren’t trying to sell through the right channels to the right audience, then you will quickly find yourself in trouble. Your marketing and sales strategies should identify the most effective marketing platforms and tactics for your ideal customers and how they will purchase from you, i.e. via an ecommerce website, on the telephone, pop-up stands, or a brick-and-mortar store.
5. Security measures.
Modern businesses face new security threats, and it’s absolutely essential that you take them seriously. Specifically, without the correct security practices and protections in place, your sensitive business information (and that of your employees and customers) could be at risk. Cyber criminals are devising new scams, viruses and ransomware all the time which can be used to hold your data to ransom, corrupt your systems or steal data. Make sure you invest in a security firewall to protect your business data with a complete professional solution like Checkpoint Direct.
6. Excellent accounting practices.
If you don’t have adequate accounting processes, then you will find it very difficult to manage the business’ cash flow. You need to have a clear view of all your incomings and outgoings at all times, as well as an accurate record of taxes, debts and payroll. It’s often best to outsource this aspect to a professional accountant who can ensure you are fully compliant and help you to make better financial choices.