5 Elements of Successful Small Businesses
An emergency succession strategy, says Tony Kucharski, president of K-1 Financing in Westchester, Ill. “Planning for a crisis so that, if anything happened to a business owner, the business would still be able to go on and provide for employees and their families” is crucial to a company’s prosperity, Kucharski says.
Excellent service to existing clients, says Kate Ross, principal of Ross Business Management, a small business management firm in Washington, D.C. Continuing to reach out to existing clients, in addition to acquiring new business, paves the way for a great reputation via testimonials and free word-of-mouth advertising, Ross says.
Agility, says LaKesha Womack, a business consultant for Womack Consulting Group. “Many small business owners who have a hard time adapting to change … have a very hard time surviving in the long term,” she says. Having a great product or service may allow for short-term success, but small businesses with long-term success are able to assess their current environment and ensure the business remains competitive and innovative without losing sight of their core mission.
Receptiveness, says Janet Tanguay, entrepreneurship manager at the Capital Chamber Foundation for the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce and owner of Art n Soul Inc. “Listen to your customers and your employees [to find out] what is working and what isn’t working,” she says. Making use of anonymous surveys is a great way to gauge office morale and customer satisfaction.
A niche, says Elene Cafasso, president and founder of Enerpace Executive Coaching. “What I’ve seen in more than 10 years of working with small business is that successful businesses have a clearly defined niche.” Cafasso explains that while a company’s niche may shift with customer demands over time, business owners who keep their ear to the ground will always be able to determine how they can remain relevant in the industry.
— Bridget Gamble