Regardless of what type of business you may be running, you definitely want to achieve true success in your endeavors. Of course, building a successful business takes hard work, patience, dedication, and time – and things cannot simply happen overnight.
However, what is it that makes the difference between a successful business and a not so successful business? What are the key elements that make some entrepreneurs achieve more with their enterprises?
We have gathered some tips for you – so read on and find out more.
Have a Business Plan
This might come without saying for many of you, but you have no idea how many business owners get this wrong!
Studies show that the benefits of having a clear plan for your business are tremendous. In fact, it has been shown that the very existence of a business plan can double your chance of success when it comes to your business – and according to Harvard Business Review, this might be even more important for those of you who want to raise money or attract investors.
OK, a business plan is great – but how do you build one?
Well, without attempting to oversimplify the matter (which you can read entire libraries on, of course), there are some basic elements every good business plan should have, namely:
- The research. You shouldn’t even start thinking of a business plan before you do a thorough research. Learn about your market, your industry, your competitors, and your target audience. Learn what makes the market boom and what turns the industry upside down. Learn what your competitors are doing right – and what they are doing wrong. Learn what makes your target audience “tick”.
- The purpose. Your business plan should have a clearly stated purpose (and yes, you should actually add this in writing). Why are you doing this? What is the reason behind your business – and what is the reason you are writing a business plan right now?
- The company. What is your company all about? How many employees help you on your path to success? What are the core beliefs of your business, who is it for, and why did you think to start such a business? What are the numbers behind it saying about it and its success? Create a realistic profile for your company – don’t lie here because sooner or later, data will reveal the truth and a hidden lie can lead to losses on your end.
- The hard numbers. This section is dedicated to an in-depth analysis of your business – an X-ray of everything it is in terms of money in, money out, profitability, losses, investments, industry projections, expenses, and so on. For most investors, this is the section that matters the most, so you want to make sure you put a lot of emphasis on the numbers you present in your business plan.
- The marketing. Your business plan should absolutely include a marketing plan as well – because how else do you plan on reaching your target audience, other than through well-thought campaigns? Include here everything: from the release dates of the new products to the way you plan to do video marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and so on.
Of course, these are the very basic elements every business plan should include – but there are a lot more things to keep in mind. One of the most important ones is the fact that your business plan should be easy to read by literally everyone – investors can be a very diverse bunch and you want to make sure you speak their language.
Create a True Brand
Chances are that your product or service is not 100% unique and that you have plenty of competitors to “battle”.
What makes the difference between a business that continuously wins clients and a business that doesn’t, though?
Well, a lot of things – but a very clear and very powerful brand can make all the difference in the world.
And it all starts with one simple element: a logo.
Research shows that a good logo can be extremely powerful and that it can actually sway consumers on your side. The great news is that you really don’t have to pay a fortune for a good logo. In fact, Twitter only paid $15 for their little birdie, and Nike is famous for having paid no more than $35 for their famous logo too.
Put a lot of thought, energy, and planning into your logo because at the end of the day, your business’ logo can make or break the entire story, so you want to make sure you make the right choices in terms of color, design, font, and imagery.
Be Open to Embrace the New
The world is constantly changing – and your business should be ready to adapt to the new wave every single time it hits.
For instance, back in the early 2000s, you could easily get your business out there, online, by using what are now known as “Black Hat SEO” techniques (such as spamming or hiding keywords Google would recognize, but users wouldn’t be able to see). Things changed drastically when Google started to sanction such attitudes – and the business websites that survived were the ones that knew how to adapt to the new rules.
These days, online marketing is all about videos (with more than 55% of the people watching videos every single day). Yet, up until not very long ago, video marketing was a fairly inaccessible tool for small businesses who couldn’t afford paying too much money on their marketing.
These days, however, creating engaging and interesting videos to suit your brand and your target audience is far easier than what it used to be. With video making tools such as Renderforest, for example, you can create videos in a matter of minutes – and you don’t have to have any kind of video editing or graphic design knowledge at all. Even more, you can do all this for a fraction of the price you would have paid for a professional video editor.
Success cannot be contained in secret recipes and list of ingredients. It varies from one story to another. What we tried to do in this article is show you that some elements of success can completely change the way your business is perceived – by investors and potential customers alike.
What about you? What are the other success factors you consider important when it comes to starting and growing a business?
Leave your answer in the comments section below!
Bio: I am the Chief Marketing Officer at Renderforest, a Content Marketing Specialist and an Expert in SEO, Social Media Marketing, and Link Building who enjoys sharing the experiences gained along working as a marketer and helping other entrepreneurs succeed.
My works have been published on different blogs and mediums like Crazy Egg, Forbes, Upwork, ShareThis, etc.