7 Factors to Success that Business Owners Forget About
If you’ve ever woken up in a cold sweat to realize that you’ve forgotten to do something very important –– lock the front door, pick up your sister at soccer practice, finish a 12-page paper –– then you know just how horrifying that sort of realization can be. Yet, the reality is that people are, in the main, pretty forgetful. The human capacity for memory is overestimated and even the most successful professionals forget about very important factors that influence business viability. Or maybe don’t so much forget about these obligations, but just get distracted by more “pressing needs” and fail to prioritize them accordingly. Indeed, getting a startup off the ground is a taxing task, and it’s very easy for entrepreneurs to forget one, two, or maybe more important actions that they should take to ensure their company has every chance to thrive. Today, we’re going to take a look at seven oft-overlooked practices that are massively beneficial to sustained success, but that, for whatever reason, tend to slip people’s minds. Check them out here:
Compelling Name and Logo
It’s tempting to downplay the importance of a new company’s name, logo, and brand identity in general. After all, if a business produces a great product and offers quality service, will its name have any bearing on its success (or lack thereof)? The answer, sadly, is yes. In business, as in life, perception is the better part of reality. A business’s name and logo can have a big influence on a consumer’s willingness to trust it, and ultimately, patronize it. Consider for example, this slightly silly hypothetical: would Apple be the all-conquering force that it is today if Steve Jobs and co. had decided to name their company after a more exotic fruit like the Kumquat?
One final note on the matter: if at all possible, select a name that contains a keyword for something related to your business. This will help you rank organically for that term down the road, and create domain URLs that are apt and appropriate.
Where a business is located is still a big deal. Despite the many advances in technology that have made it easier than ever for companies to engage with remote customers and employees alike, where you decide to set up shop can have a significant effect on your company’s ability to attract local customers, draw in talented employees, and retain your current team members. It might not sound like a lot, but employees who don’t face a long commute to work, or who enjoy the surrounding neighborhood of their office, are more likely to cherish their time at a company than those who don’t. Additionally, businesses that are set up in neighborhoods with bad reputations could risk losing out on consumers who are unwilling to venture to their HQ.
Similarly, the way an office is designed and laid out may determine whether a team reaches their full potential, or if they constantly struggle to perform at their best. Everything from the sound quality, the smells, the availability of natural light, and the sheer amount of space in an office affects how employees go about their jobs. The most progressive companies create workspaces that inspire –– rather than inhibit –– their team members. Consider contacting a professional design team like Key Interiors if you’re having trouble renovating your space.
No one likes to be criticized. Nevertheless, sometimes business owners require a little tough love in order to shape their flagship product and improve upon it. Furthermore, it’s imperative for new businesses to conduct surveys with their target audiences to determine their needs and preferences. Rather than trying to sell a product you think your customers will appreciate, deliver one that you know offers what they’re looking for. This will help to separate your operation from a crowded field.
Blogging might not be the most exciting activity that a business owner considers when starting a new company, but it’s one of the first that they should examine. Indeed, the quality (and quantity) of a company’s digital content will often directly correlate to its ability to rank for organic search terms. And given how important it is for modern companies to rank for lucrative keywords –– starting a blog early is a must. Note also that it could take quite a while for organic SEO efforts like blogging to return tangible results (in the form of leads and sales). This means that the sooner businesses get their blogs rolling, the sooner they’ll be able to gain ground on more established competitors.
Speaking of competitors –– it should go without saying –– but every new business owner should understand the other businesses operating in their field. At the very least, you should be aware of who your most direct rival is. (This isn’t always the business in closest geographic proximity to your location.)Without conducting competitor analysis, new businesses may struggle to find a niche that their perfectly suited to fill. Indeed, the key to survival isn’t always about doing something better from your competition, but offering something different. This bit of advice is particularly cogent for entrepreneurs entering saturated markets with lots of consumer opportunity.
Small business owners have a vision in mind when they form a startup. And while recruiting talented professionals is always a good practice in general, recruitment without proper training won’t maximize your employees’ abilities. Indeed, employee training is about more than a few standard orientation videos, or a quick tour around the office. Rather, the most advanced businesses take time to craft and implement training sessions that focus on changing employee behavior for the better. Plain and simple, investing in your team members’ development is a quality practice. Not only is this highly beneficial for businesses (obviously) but employees also gain an advantage when they develop soft skills like active listening or problem solving.
The Bottom Line
Leading a small business to a successful future is a tall order for sure. The to-do list is just about never-ending, and many a capable entrepreneur has found it difficult to keep tabs on every aspect of a small business. Perhaps the best way to make certain that you cover all of your bases is to 1) surround yourself with dedicated professionals and 2) delegate to them effectively. It’s just about impossible to build a small business from scratch –– so don’t be afraid to call in reinforcements!