1. Define Success:
For anybody going into business, start by identifying the result you want. How would you define your company as being successful. Is it about independence, money, expansion? Get success clearly defined.
2. Find Customers:
Most business professionals would ask what your value proposition is, what is it that you actually do? But many people don’t know how to figure that out. Start by identifying a problem you can solve with your skillset. Then find customers that are willing to pay you for whatever product or service you are offering. If you can find a customer, then you have a proposition.
3. Focus on the Customers:
Talk to your customers all the time, ask for feedback and continually find ways to improve. People buy from people they like and the best way to have someone like you is to actually listen to them and validate them.
4. Play the Game of Business:
Maximize and increase your productivity. Lower your expenses while increasing your quality to be able to increase your margin. Play the game. Is it a price game, cut expenses and increase volume, like Wal-Mart or Amazon? Or is it a scarcity game, increasing your price because of quality, like Ferrari? There isn’t one right answer.
5. Find, Attract and Retain Quality Employees:
This is the most difficult step for all businesses because employee turnover is a massive expense. Look for employees who play where you work. People that feel engaged and joyful in the work will likely be loyal and stay.
Understand financial management, keep enough cash reserves for a rainy day because cash flow is the lifeblood of the business.
There are a ton of other important variables that effect the success of a business but at the highest level if you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business. People, People, People.