Running your own small business takes a lot of time and work to make successful. There isn’t one kind of person that makes a successful business owner. However, researchers have identified eight key characteristics important to successful businesses.


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 any one 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 receive information as soon as the owner does. Goals, problems and concerns are discussed openly. Feedback on issues is encouraged and staff are 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

Your staff should be recruited very carefully, because they are the lifeblood of any small business. You hire them based on knowledge, skills and ability, rather than friendships. In order to get maximal benefit from your staff, you need to give them adequate training.

5.   Staff commitment and loyalty

Employees must be loyal and committed to the success of your business. As an owner, you should reward good performance to encourage similar behaviour. However, you should remove consistently poor workers from the company to not upset team dynamic. Organisations 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 which 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.   A Specific customer focus

To be successful, you need to specifically know your customers and ensure you have 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 enquiry or complaint is received, you need to actively follow up and solve them as quickly as possible. Employees must 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.

Adelaide | Brisbane | Melbourne | Perth | Shepparton | Sydney | Werribee
Auckland | Pukekohe