11 Characteristics of Small Businesses That Succeed

Many studies and researchers have identified certain qualities and characteristics that distinguish highly successful businesses from mediocre ones.

The remarkable aspect is that by adopting these qualities, any business has the potential to achieve success comparable to those that have already succeeded.

If you are interested in understanding why some businesses fail and how you can make a difference, the following qualities and characteristics will assist you in making better decisions.

These are ten must-have characteristics of a successful small business.

Clear Visionary Approach:

The first and most important thing is vision. Having a clear vision sounds easy, but in most cases, it’s not.

By having a clear vision, you know each and every detail of your business. For instance, start with “why.”

Why do you want to start or run this business? Why does your business exist? Is there something that differentiates you from others, or is this just another business?

For example, if you are starting a cleaning business, is this just another laundry business because it’s profitable, or is there something else that motivates you?

Even if you don’t have a clear vision and your sole purpose is money, there’s nothing wrong with starting that business. But what I tell people is that in that case, you should start one with the most money potential. So that you could enjoy pushing that business.

Next, the big question is, where do you see yourself in the following years?

Then, you should ask, how prepared are you to reach those goals?

In this way, you can understand your business very well.

You cannot succeed in making a business you do not understand the concept of.

Strategic Business Planning:

Apart from knowing what you want your business to achieve, it is essential to have an outline of the activities you will undertake to ensure that your company succeeds.

Ken Colwell, the author of the book ‘Starting a Business QuickStart Guide,’ emphasizes the importance of writing a business plan. Writing a business plan is like reviewing everything at once; marketing assumptions, operations plan, financial plan, and staffing plan, which allows you to make connections that would not have been discovered otherwise.

In your business plan, identify what you aim to achieve in the upcoming year to get on track for achieving your long-term goals for your firm.

Proactive Short-Term Goal Setting:

Besides having a business plan for long-term goals, the most thriving businesses are the ones that have measurable short-term goals. We often call them SMART goals.

These are specifically what the company needs to achieve during the next quarter, month, and week to make a much better year. In your SMART goals, you decide everything and try to make sure that your expectations are very close to ground realities.

Goal setting is not a one-off process when you are developing your business plan but rather an ongoing process. Setting goals should never be all about how many sales dollars you want to generate alone. It may be about your service offerings, business growth, or anything else that means the development of your enterprise.

Motivated and Unified Team:

Your employees can make or break your business. If you don’t have the right team, you probably won’t last long. There could be many reasons.

For instance, one study found that 23% of small businesses fail due to a lack of the right talent. Another research study conducted by the Better Business Bureau found that 30% of businesses fail due to employee theft.

So, it’s a no brainer that every successful business has loyal and motivated employees.

If you have started your small business but not getting results, you should spend time knowing your team. You should analyze whether your team is motivated and happy with what they do.

The company’s performance depends on the skills and motivation of its team members. Although every company may have a few disgruntled workers, you will have a low turnover rate if your company is to be successful.

Your employees should feel happy and even eager to get to work every day and face the challenges ahead of them. These people can make open suggestions or share ideas since they feel like they have value in the business. They can also give constructive criticism without fear of retaliation from anyone. Be focused on hiring the right team members and doing everything possible for them to stay on your team.

Continuous Skill Development:

To succeed in business, you must learn how to improve your skills. Just as you set goals for your business, so too should you aspire to be better at what you do. This implies more study and practice to become very good at it.

When a business is going through tough times, all its staff should have clear roles. A great idea could be to spend time and money educating your team on some things that they don’t know yet. And that’s very important for your business. For instance, you can think of improving customer service. You can arrange a one-day training session for them.

Imagine it like a sports squad where every player has to engage in training sessions so that they can give their best.

Improving your skills are also important for business growth.

Your employees’ skill set, and growth has a direct relation. As businesses change and grow, so should your abilities. This is why you must continue training your team regularly. You must ensure that this training forms part of your business plan so that it is always done.

Occasionally, take stock of how well the team is performing. If there are areas where the performance of the team is not up to standard, these issues ought to be addressed. It may require altering the way teaching is done or doing things differently to enhance them.

Excellence in Marketing Strategies:

Marketing usually brings more success than anything else, so make sure that your business has an effective marketing system. Of course, if you offer good products or services, customer referrals can help you build a sustainable relationship with them but frequently, entrepreneurs wish or need their ventures to expand faster

The key element of your marketing strategy is utilizing several channels of marketing. For instance, pay-per-click ads, newsletters, and social media can attract more customers collectively than any one of them alone could.

Customer-Centric Focus:

One of the best characteristics that any successful business can have is knowing its customers and offering them what they want. All successful companies learn how to attend to their customer’s needs, whether they sell directly to consumers or other businesses.

Your marketing tactics will be more productive if you have a better understanding of your customers and their desires. You can gain a lot from talking to your customers.

For instance, if you have a huge loyal customers list, you should ask them why they buy from you and what changes they would like to see in the future.

In this way, they would be able to give you an idea of what is important to them, which could go a long way in ensuring that your product or service can make your business a success and build up a loyal clientele base.

Here, I want to add something for CEOs and decision-makers: Asking your customers doesn’t mean you should apply everything they want. Different customers have different needs, so you should spend time understanding the data to make very sensible decisions.

Embracing Change as Imperative:

Your business has to be prepared for this if you want it to succeed. If something in your business isn’t working, be ready to change it and try something else.

The business world is uncertain; hence, you need to be flexible and make changes that may suit your goals. Updating your strategic plans and making changes helps you remain consistent with your vision while staying competitive.

Financial Preparedness:

Starting and running a business is expensive. There might be unforeseen bills or a need for more money to advertise the business. Many new businesses face challenges within their first year because they didn’t expect some costs or did not have enough savings.

Making money is not enough; it must be managed properly. CB Insights conducted research and found that, 38% of startups fail due to lack of funds.

New businesses should watch over their cash flows and aim to break even. For well-established, successful companies, this becomes less of an issue.

Being ready in terms of finances implies having another option. For example, having access to a business cash advance can help you cover unexpected costs or invest more in growing your business. Financial readiness ensures that your firm can handle any challenges and grow further.

Persistent Pursuit of Success:

Certainly, the life of a business owner would never be simple, especially in the beginning. There will always be more work that can be done and there will also be significant ups and downs along the way.

However, one should never give up, no matter how bad things get with their businesses. Your ability to stick to your business plan can enable you to achieve these objectives, thereby making it prosperous.

Passionate Commitment:

Another characteristic that really makes a difference is ‘passion’. How passionate are you about your business? As I said earlier, are you working for money, or do you have a vision that can push you forward no matter what?

If you look at entrepreneurs, you will realize that to achieve good results in business, one has to be passionate enough to go through every tough and hard situation.

Show belief in it and what it entails. Entrepreneurs who are passionate about their businesses work harder and give their best shots.

If you are doing something that excites you, this not only makes you work harder but also helps in the company’s progress, as clients can feel that you are dedicated to your product or service. Passion is likened to the fuel that propels your enterprise forward.