Six Key Factors to Running a Successful Business

When trying to run a successful business, there are six key factors that I feel you should follow in order to be successful. They are your belief, branding, management, sales, team, and negotiation. Without these six points, running a successful business will be very difficult and almost impossible.

When I mention belief, I’m basically referring to your self-confidence. Your beliefs come from your education and experience. And your thoughts and beliefs create your reality. Anything that you put your mind to that you want to achieve, you can do it. So don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve something just because they may not believe in themselves.

Branding, of all the factors is maybe the most important, but a lot of business owners don’t really think of it as being that important. And usually when a business owner doesn’t focus on this, they end up struggling to be successful. Reason being is because branding shouldn’t be based upon the likes of people, but on the things that stand out and catch their attention. What a lot of people fail to understand is that a brand is more than just a name or a logo. It’s more like a promise and a contract with every customer whom you are dealing with. When creating a brand, you want it to arouse emotion, ignite passion, echo reliability and have meaning. You also want your brand to have value. Meaning, you should either be the best in your field or the least expensive, if not your business will more than likely perish. Another way to assure that you keep yourself in business is something i like to call a valid business reason. This is providing a reason to your customers as to why the should do business with you. Another important thing about branding is knowing what your customers consider as more and what makes them comfortable. Know what they want and deliver. And something that some business owners don’t like to do when business isn’t going well, and that’s be the face behind your company. People want to know who the are dealing with.

Just like in your daily life, time management is just as important in running a business. The more organized you are the better off you’ll be. A lot of times people waste time worrying about things that won’t benefit them. Time management has to become a priority for business owners. The best thing for a business owner to do is to set goals for themselves to accomplish over a set period of time. Once you have set the goals and put a time period with each one, write them down on something and hang them up somewhere so you can view them twice a day. This will help you see yourself accomplishing each goal. You not only have to manage your time, but you also have to manage time for your clients. You arrange them in order from most to least important. Not saying that all clients aren’t important, because they are. It’ s just that some are more important than others.

Now I touch on the actual sales aspect. Usually when you meet with a prospect for the first time the are in a mode of resistance. It’s your job to get them engaged and comfortable with you to ease the tension. To do that, you must find the reason or the area that is causing the business owner the most trouble. You have to start by asking general questions the ask more specific questions. Ask questions that suggest a need. When you find that need, it is now your job to fill it. Once that is done, you begin to set the agenda. There are four steps to doing so. You first have to gain control of the meeting. Then you get a conceptual agreement, head off questions, and then you trial close. When you trial close, you basically are searching for the truth. For example, you might ask something such as, “so what do you think?” There are also three topics you can trial close on. It could be the company, products or a price list. After a while, you have to make yourself trial close, because if you wait to long the prospect could go into “stall mode.” And once that happens, you have to go back through the steps to get them back into a mode of engagement. When closing, there are three types of closes. There is the assumption close, and this is when you pull out all the paperwork and place it on the table and don’t say anything. Then you have the alternative close, when you give three different options. And then you have impending event close, and this is when you give a valid reason for them to buy now.

No business is going to run good unless you have a good team. And on every team is a leader. And anyone can be a leader, you just have to have inner belief. To me, the definition of a leader is someone who is able to influence others to move towards a particular goal or achievement. A leader has to be innovative, someone willing to think outside the box. They have to be risk takers, problem solvers, and have to be willing to work hard. A leader has to be disciplined, have an integrated mind and be an avid listener. And with that, any can lead a group to success.

Abraham Lincoln was the master of persuasion, so being a master negotiator would do you some good. When persuading someone, you firs have to start with appreciating the other persons point of view. You also have to remember that persuasion takes place in the mind and feelings of the persuaded not the persuader. You have to become empathetic, not sympathetic. Meaning that you have to detach from the outcome. Don’t become a part of the persons problem, but understand their problem. Your message and your understanding as to why you are in the meeting has to be very clear. Something that is very key is that you have to maintain the formality or informality set by the prospect. There are two types of negotiation: zero-sum and win-win. When negotiating, you have to learn how to read body language because actions speak louder than words. Learn to listen more aggressively, observe more and listen less. There will come a time when you might get a price objection. To avoid such, don’t let the prospect set the proposal. If they do you decline and tell them they need to let you help them. You have to remember, people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.