Every month 40,000 businesses fail in the United States. Every month… It’s not’s because you don’t know your core business. A plumber knows plumbing, a carpenter knows wood and an attorney knows the law. Knowing your craft and knowing business and how to run a business are two completely different skillsets. Though there are many things a business owner needs, some things tend to stick out more than others.
There are seven success factors that every business owner should have. These factors tend to lead to success and lack of them tends to lead more to failure than most other reasons:
Vision – I’m not talking about just seeing where you want to be in the future. Proverbs 29:18 says, “where there is no vision, the people perish.” Think small, achieve small. What does your future look like if there are no restrictions or limitations? The greatest danger is not that you set your goals too large and miss them. It’s that you set your goals too small and hit them. Often, as business owners, we get so focused on working in our business that we forget that our real job is to work on our business. Are you taking time to dream and plan?
Cross-Selling – The ability to generate additional revenue is imperative to your success as a business owner. The question you should ask yourself is “How many streams of income can I develop?” I have a client that owns a “landscaping” company. He and his staff cut grass. Nothing more. The problem was that the revenue wasn’t increasing as fast as the expenses. My question was “What else can you do to make money while you’re at someone’s home?” Trim bushes and trees. Aerate lawns. Seed lawns. Tend flowers. There are lots of things that any business can do that is still within the scope of their business that will generate more sales/revenue. What can you do in your business to make more?
Leveraging Profits – Many small business owners pocket the money that is left over in their business bank account each month. It’s not uncommon to see owners that will say “I made extra money this month! I’ll have more to spend.” Every business has to have money infused into it to grow. A portion of your profits each month should be reinvested back into your business. How can you use it for growth?
Niche – Have you ever heard the saying, “When you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one”? When your niche or target customer base is so large that you’re trying to be everything to everyone, what ends up happening is that you will end up being everything to no one. One client is a coach. When I first met her, I asked “who do you coach” and she said I can coach everyone. “What do you coach on?” She said, “I am a general life coach. I can coach on most anything.” When this is the case, how is it possible that people will know whether they need your services? What’s your focus?
Urgency – Amazon.com didn’t have to make profit for years because hundreds of millions of dollars of capital was infused into keeping them alive for years while they waited to see if they could make a profit. Profitability has to be urgent. When you lose the urgency to make a profit, eventually you’ll lose your ability to make a profit. In business, everything you do will either make you money or cost you money. Where’s your urgency?
Scorecard – How frustrating would it be to watch a football game and never see a score? That’s what tons of businesses do every month. The difference in income between winning football teams and losing football teams is significant. You only know the difference by keeping score! When you don’t keep score, you can’t tell what is going well and what is going poorly. You can’t fix what’s broken. How are you keeping score?
Ongoing Learning – Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Sharpening your sword is an ongoing responsibility. In life, you’re either moving forward or moving backward. There is no such thing as moving skill. The most successful people are always learning. They’re always growing. They are leveraging relationships that help them grow. What are you learning to grow your business?