Having identified factors that lead to business failure, it is only logical to identify factors that enhance business success.
- Integrity: Every business thrives on the reputation and goodwill of its customers. Good reputation is built when the business fulfils its promises to customers. In that connection, efforts must be made to provide services or supply goods without fail. The business owner must guard against running out of stock, or interrupting services to customers for whatever reason. When a business says it opens by 9.am and closes by 5p.m, that time schedule must be maintained. This practice builds confidence, reputation and goodwill for the business.
- Strategic Planning: We have discussed the need for strategic planning to avoid business failure. Success will surely result if answers to all the questions posed in that section are implemented to the letter. They form the basis of creating strategic policies and procedures. Every business must have policies concerning credit customers, product lines, pricing, regular advertising and sales promotion, quantity discounts etc.
- Monitoring and Control: Review the results of operations intervals and watch the economic trends, whether positive or negative. This requires installation of a reliable accounting information system to enable the business owner to have control of his business and judge its financial health. Any negative trend, especially in cash flow must be addressed immediately before matters get worse.
- Ability to Learn and Collaborate: Recognise the fact that you are not an expert in all aspects of business management. Consequently, from time to time, the business manager will rely on the experience and advice of lawyers, accountants, consultants, bankers, etc. In particular a small business owner should establish a solid relationship with a bank or lending institution. This is achieved by operating a business bank account domiciled in the bank on a regular basis and in a disciplined manner. Effort should be made to build trust with the bank by not issuing cheques when the account is not funded and respecting credit limits and repayment schedule whenever a credit facility is granted.
- Mentorship: Every business has its secrets of success and you need to know these secrets from the start of your business. As you find answers to the questions posed above, you will be familiarising yourself with what it takes to be a successful business owner. Benchmark 10 (ten) well known successful persons in your chosen business sector. Study what they did to succeed. If you are prepared to follow their footsteps, by working hard, by being dedicated and honest, your chances of success will be assured.
- Healthy work-life balance: Finally, the business owner must do everything possible to maintain good health by not indulging in reckless habits because health is wealth. The success of any small business rests on the constant presence and attention of the business owner so it is critical to monitor one’s health closely. Stress is a primary problem and must be kept in check. In this connection, pro-active action is necessary. Visiting a qualified medical doctor on regular intervals should be the rule rather than an exception.