The formula for business success is amazingly simple. It consists of the following:
- Find the hungry customers. Dan Kennedy is famous for saying, “The number one thing I would want if I owned a restaurant is hungry customers.” By this he meant that the most important thing a business needs is customers who desperately need your products. Finding this niche and designing your products and services to satisfy its hunger are the key to business sales.
- Keep your expenses below your sales. Don’t start spending money just because you think you need to look successful to be successful. Your customers really only care whether or not you are solving their problems and meeting their needs.
- Collect your receivables. Be reasonable with your customers, but remember, you are not their banker.
- Take care of your customers. Remember, they are your bosses. You work for them, and without them, you don’t have a business. Don’t become one of those business owners who see all of their customers as “problems”. I always remind myself and my staff that if my clients didn’t have problems, they would not need us.
- Finally, take care of your employees. I always correct business owners who say that their employees are their most important asset. Your employees are your company. They are the ones most of your customers will interact with, and when they go home at the end of the day, your company pretty much goes home with them. You should strive to follow The Golden Rule and treat them the way you would want to be treated if you were their employee.
- Plan for the rainy day. When things are going great it is hard not to feel like they will always be great. Many companies found out this was a mistake the hard way during the last recession. Those that had a rainy day fund and a plan to handle the downturn survived—those that didn’t failed.
- Keep your eyes out for the next opportunity. If you don’t, you might not just be missing out on that opportunity. You could be unknowingly setting your business up for failure in the future. I always point to Blockbuster, who missed the opportunities that Netflix and Redbox took advantage of. Blockbuster is now struggling to survive as the changing market and customer demand have left them with a diminishing customer base.