I have had the privilege of working with many businesses across a range of industries, all with growth in mind. From time to time I get asked to summarise my observations on what would make a business successful and what can help with growing existing business.
After the umpteenth time of being asked, I decided to research this question, and after going through my case notes on the most successful businesses I have experienced, I came up with the following key aspect of what makes a business successful:
“The ability of the business to keep an open mind to new ideas and to improve on a continual basis.”
There are two main points to that statement:
The ability to keep an open mind to new ideas.
Keeping an open mind does not mean looking into every new idea out on the market, or getting distracted by the many opportunities that are presented to a business on a daily basis.
It means that the business owner should be able to focus on the core strength of the business and be open to ideas that could add value or improve the company’s ability to be more productive. In many cases, the quest for information can lead to an opportunity which spurs the formulation of complementary products and services, which in turn can be developed and facilitated to further grow the business.
The ability of the key stakeholders to focus on the business, be open to new ideas, be able to identify the value of each idea, and filter the ‘noise’ that other ideas may bring, will greatly influence the chances of the business being successful and for growing existing business.
The ability to improve on a continual basis for growing existing business.
A business which can adapt and improve on a continual basis is best placed to ensure its survival and future profitability. The ability to incorporate a better way of doing things into the current operations will, in all likelihood, lead to an increase in efficiency. If a company fosters a culture of continuous improvement into its ethos, it will be rewarded with reduced costs and improved productivity.
This hunger to do things better, and the ability to identify good ideas to move the business forward, are key aspects to make a business successful.
If the business chooses to stagnate and accept the status quo, it may benefit from accidental increased profits for a period of time, but history has shown that it will either be forced to adapt (at a great expense) or fade from existence.
To give your business the best chance of survival, keep an open mind and always look for improvements.