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7 secrets to ensure business success

Content Guide

So, you’ve decided you want to start your own business.

If this is the case, you might as well get used to putting in long hours and not making a lot of money in the beginning.

More than that, however, there are tons of tips and suggestions you should follow before you start writing business plans.

Why? There is certainly a lot to do before you get to the point where you’re ready to open your doors.

How to Start

As most people already know, most businesses fail in the first year, but if you arm yourself with the tools and information you need, your chances of being successful are much greater.

Indeed, knowledge equals power, so the more you know about business in general and your business in particular, the more chance you have of making it a success.

It doesn’t matter what your product or service is. The fact is, there are general guidelines all business people can follow to thrive in the industry.

If business success is your goal in life, there are numerous secrets you should be privy to, starting with the seven listed here.

It’s Not All About the Money

it's not all about the money

When you start a business, you naturally want to make money, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

But if your sole purpose for starting the business is to get rich, you might be disappointed in the end.

It doesn’t take most entrepreneurs long to realize that if you only care about money, it will backfire on you.

Is it possible to be a financial success when all you care about is money? Of course it is, but you’re more likely to be a success if you care about other things as well. It’s also likely to result in a lot fewer headaches.

Thinking Long Term

Whether you are selling an actual product or a service, you need customers for the business to survive. And this is especially true if you want that product or service to stick around year after year.

In other words, businesses have to think long-term. You can only do that by concentrating on your product or service. Plus, making sure it is high enough in quality to keep customers coming back on a regular basis. 

In the end, it is all about your product or service and nothing else. Because concentrating on the main reason for your business is truly the only way to be successful.

There is another advantage of not putting money first: people.

From customers to coworkers, people won’t stick around if they aren’t treated correctly. This means your business is destined to fail before it even has a chance to grow.

Invest in Strategic Sales and Marketing Funnels

invest in strategic sales and marketing funnels

Business is not only about getting customers. It’s also about keeping those customers and continuously getting new customers.

You don’t just want your customers to buy your product once – you want them to buy it again in the future. And the best way to do that is to devise sales and marketing funnels. 

What are funnels? 

They are ways to turn cold prospects into customers by putting them through several funnels, which represent the sales process.

If you think of it as a funnel, it’s easier to understand. Lots of people (prospects) will go into the funnel, but only a few will end up at the bottom of the funnel as real customers.

Sales Funnel

Sales funnels have four stages. They include creating awareness, turning that awareness into interest, establishing an emotional connection so that prospects desire the product, and finally, showing customers how to take action and buy the product.

Customers have to get the attention they need at every step to be a success in the end.

Marketing Funnel

There is also a separate process for marketing funnels. The steps include the customer becoming aware of your product, exploring and taking your product into consideration, making the decision to buy, becoming loyal to your company, and finally, recommending your product to others.

From marketing to sales, investing in each of these steps is the perfect way to concentrate more on long-term customers.

The processes are a little more involved than this, of course, but these are the basics.

Understand and Engage with Your Customers

understand and engage with your customers

Studying your customers and engaging with them on a continuous basis means they’re much more likely to stay with you. Nowadays, it’s easy to do this thanks to social media. And a few of the ways you can do this include the following:

  • Keep your customers informed with your social media pages, including Facebook, Instagram, and others.
  • Ask them questions to get to know them better.
  • Provide educational content on your sites to help them learn your product a little better.
  • When devising a marketing plan, make it more human.
  • Experiment with a new medium now and then to reach them.
  • Always make the customer experience very personalized.

When you first come up with a small business idea, you may not realize how crucial your customers will be to the process.

Make no mistake, though, the customer should always be your priority, so continuous communication with them is a must. You should still communicate with them regularly so that they don’t forget about you in the meantime.

The public is fickle, and they will indeed forget about you if you don’t keep in touch with them. This is regardless of how much they loved your product or service the first time they bought it.

Follow and Learn About Your Competitors

follow and learn about your competitors

If another business is doing the same thing you’re doing, that’s an opportunity to study them and learn from them. 

Some wanna-be business people think they should do something a little different than what their competitors are doing. Maybe in an attempt to offer the customers something the other company doesn’t have.

But as a general rule, you should stick with what works. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel because if it’s working for another company, it can work for you too.

You can easily study other businesses because of the amount of information now found online.

What You Can Do

You can study their social media sites, find a copy of their annual report and study it. Create a Google Alert so that every time that company is mentioned online, you’ll be notified and you can read the blog or article mentioned in the alert.

There is a lot of information found online. There are hundreds of ways to get information on your competitors.

For retail stores, you can visit them in person and find out how they operate on a day-to-day basis. You can learn a lot about them by visiting them in person.

The important thing is that you need to find out information about your competitors and the way they do business.

If they are successful, there’s a reason for that. And the sooner you find out what that reason is, the sooner you can start doing the same things yourself.

Follow the “80/20 Rule”

follow the "80/20" rule

This means 80% of the results your business enjoys comes from 20% of the efforts you put into the business.

If you are selling something, it means that 80% of your sales would come from 20% of customers.

Within that 20%, the same rules apply. This means that a very small portion of the efforts you’re putting into the business are making a real difference.

Therefore, you have to find out where that 20% is coming from and concentrate more on that than anything else.

What Matters?

In practical terms, you have to figure out which of your efforts is included in that 20%. Then, concentrate more on those things than anything else.

It isn’t about putting in longer hours or even working harder.

It’s about working smarter and recognizing which tasks are producing real results. Then, concentrating on those tasks so that you don’t waste time on things that just don’t matter. 

It’s true that you will always have to do paperwork and make sure you have enough business cards on hand. But those aren’t the things that will make you money and keep your doors open.

The things that matter include everything related to reaching out to the customers. Plus, coming up with ways to increase the odds of them coming back to you for their needs.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

don't put all your eggs in one basket

When you start your business, it’s alright to offer just one product or service. Especially because you’ll want to concentrate on bringing customers through your doors.

But eventually, you’re going to want to expand your business and diversify. That is, you’ll want to offer even more products and services to your customers.

You should include this in your business plan before the business is even open.

If you’re not sure how to write up a professional business plan, do some research. This is a very important part of getting the financing you’ll need to start your business. If you find a business plan sample online, you may see how to include this information in your own plan.

Expand and Diversify

If you’re in retail, it should be easy to decide which items you’d like to sell later on. The same goes for services because you can always add other services later on down the road.

The key is to not get stuck on one product or service because your business might become stale and stagnant.

You aren’t likely to run out of customers, but it’s more difficult to bring in new customers regularly.

This doesn’t mean you should aim to add a new product or service every week or every month. You should definitely be continuously thinking about expanding your products or services to include other things.

Continuous change is good for a business because it keeps customers coming back. They can also be wondering what you’re going to do next to help fulfill a need in their lives.

With new products and services, you’ll still want to do market research. Put in time and effort like you did on your original products.

It is still important either to update or improve your products and keep developing new ones for customers to love.

Stay Positive

stay positive

There are a lot of aspects to successful business management. Perhaps the thing you need most is the right attitude, and that means staying positive all the time.

Although it is nearly impossible to remain positive 100% of the time, you have to remember that many times, the one characteristic all successful business people share is their attitude. 

They believe from the very start that they will be successful in their endeavor. If you need some motivation, not to worry because there are tons of resources:

  • online written materials;
  • books; 
  • and audio books.

They can pump you up and actually get you excited about being an entrepreneur.

Each time you go somewhere in your car. Put in a motivational CD to listen to.

Have a book on your nightstand. It allows you to read what other successful business people have done to be successful.

Even if your business is a mom-and-pop business, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something valuable from the big guys.

Get your information from the people whom you know understand a thing or two about running a business. And, yes, running a business that makes money.

Get inspiration here: How to Create a Powerful Marketing Plan: A Guide for Beginners

What’s Next

If you know some helpful business tips that you’ve done, feel free to share them in the comments section.

We’re excited to learn from you too!

Want to create your first marketing plan but don’t know how to start? Click here.

If you want to know more about business and marketing, we have plenty of resources for you: