No matter what industry your small business operates in or the size of your small business it is a fact that there are certain non-negotiable characteristics that all successful small businesses have in common. We believe that most of these are just commonsense, but of course, as time goes on in your business we can get set in our way or just start letting the odd thing slide. Therefore a gentle reminder every so often won’t hurt in motivating you to reinforce these key characteristics.
The eight characteristics are:
- Owners leading by Example
- Having a simple business structure
- Information sharing among employees
- Staff are carefully chosen
- Staff commitment and loyalty
- A unique product or service
- A specific Customer focus
- Prompt follow up
1. Owners leading by example
The owner or manager leads by example. He or she is usually the first to arrive, the last to leave. The owner knows everyone by name and their presence is obvious. They show a strong commitment, setting the standard where they work. This commitment should be easy to understand, after all, if they don’t work hard in their own company, how can they expect anyone else to take their business seriously?
2. Simple business structure
They operate a simple and open business structure, encouraging easy access to the owner for every employee. They value the contribution of each employee, many of whom are given the opportunity to influence aspects of the business that would ordinarily be denied them in a large hierarchical company
3. Information sharing among employees
Staff receives information as soon as the owner does. Goals, problems, and concerns are discussed openly. Feedback on issues is encouraged and staff is asked to contribute their own ideas for making improvements and overcoming difficulties. It is often this aspect of open communication that staff appreciate the most, after all, it is fairly unique to small businesses.
4. Staff are carefully chosen
Staff are recruited very carefully because the owner(s) recognize they are the lifeblood of any small business. Staff are hired on the basis that their knowledge, skills, and abilities will be beneficial to the organization rather than because of friendships or family relations. Staff are not only carefully chosen but are nurtured and trained so that both the staff member and the organization get the maximum benefit possible out of the relationship.
5. Staff commitment and loyalty
All staff are very committed and loyal: good performance is rewarded with praise, extra responsibility and money—poor performance is not. Consistently poor workers are removed as they upset the rest of the team. Organizations whose staff show optimum commitment and loyalty have a source of competitive advantage that is hard to copy or to beat.
6. A Unique product or service
Most successful businesses have unique products or services, such as their own designs, products, systems, or some other aspect that sets them apart. This uniqueness is an important source of competitive advantage and one which many companies work hard to sustain, adapting, and innovating their products or services as their competition catches up on them.
7. Specific customer focus
Successful small businesses have a specific focus on their customers and clients and are geared to supplying them with exactly what they want. This focus means adopting a market-led approach, with the owners and their managers consistently looking for ways to solve their customer’s problems and improve their products to match their customer’s requirements.
8. Prompt follow-up
On occasions when an inquiry or complaint is received, successful small companies actively follow up and solve them as quickly as possible. The results are promptly reported back to the client or customer and in the case of complaints, measures put in place to reduce the likelihood of similar issues reoccurring. Successful small businesses view complaints and problems as opportunities for growth and improvement in their businesses.
So take stock and analyze which of these key success parameters can be improved in the daily operations of your small business. For more information and ideas on how to achieve success in your Macarthur small business reach out to us for a free initial consulation. We are based in Mount Annan and service the entire South-West Sydney region from our office.