When it comes to building a sustainable business, there’s a lot of talk about the bottom line.
While making money is a factor for all business owners, things aren’t always just black or red. Profits aside, business owners need to think differently about how they define long-term success. These days, building a well-rounded business model is more challenging than ever, and identifying your business’s specific goals is an integral part of making sure both you and it succeed. But how can owners ensure that their business will both be successful and stand the test of time? According to statistics, 50 percent of small businesses fail within the first year. But there are a few things you can do to ensure that you are among the 50 percent that make their dream of running a profitable local business a reality. So scroll down and read up on 4 of these essential habits.
1. Choose Your Intentions Wisely
To create a sustainable business and instill a strong sense of culture, business owners must embrace their values, and understand that they are reflected in all aspects of their business. Think of these principles as a litmus test for everything you do. As the leader, you must continually gauge whether your actions are consistent with the direction in which you see your business going.
Once you’ve pinpointed your intentions, it’s crucial to infuse them in everything you do. After all, founded by a small business owner, we understand your mission is near and dear to your heart. But it’s important to ensure that your message also resonates with customers and your employees. Whether it’s Sally down the street or an entry-level cashier, everyone should feel as connected and passionate about your mission as you do. Integrate your core values into your marketing efforts, staff meetings and anything (pretty much everything) that affects the face of your business. This will offer tangible ways to embrace like-minded principles.As a business owner, it’s important that you hold yourself accountable for all your actions and how they affect the perception of your business.
2. Shrewd Investments are a Must
Every successful small business knows the value of a solid investment. Whether it’s a hiring decision, or a commitment to product quality and customer service, each investment should be made with the intention of long-term value. Short-term investments might have the allure of a quick profit, but in longstanding business success, there are no shortcuts.
Take time to think broadly about your business, and build for scale when making investments. Financially, investments in technology are a good option. Though they don’t always have an immediate return, in the long run they will allow you to produce a better product and provide a stronger service for your customers. With limited budgets and resources, it’s common to take staffing decisions lightly, but your staff can make or break your business. To hire and keep the best employees, hire people who who are seeking growth opportunities and are likely to foster a happy and collaborative environment. Remember, skills can be taught but tough personalities are hard to budge.
3. Add Value Where Needed
Whatever the product or service, your business needs to provide real value if you’re going to capture the attention of customers. In a US retail landscape led by big players like Walmart, it’s tough for small business owners to compete on price. Once consumers recognize that they’re getting quality service at a fair price, they’ll be more likely to make a purchase. It’s important that after defining how best to determine your pricing, you make a commitment to this process. Even though decisions can be costly, offering in-demand benefits to customers can allow you to stay true to your mission.
4. Be Nimble, Be Quick
When building a sustainable business, agility is a must! Recognize that having a solution for a problem today doesn’t mean the problem will remain solved forever. Listen to what your customers and employees want and use these cues to help maintain flexibility and a willingness to change direction.
To win in the long run, business owners need to understand that having a strong bottom line is not the only way to build and maintain a sustainable business. While profit is crucial, it isn’t king. Combining profitability with pure motives, wise investments and added value to a given product or service, can ultimately help foster a business that grows and prospers.