Business is more complex today than ever, with lots of moving parts and pieces that require management attention. In small and mid-sized businesses, owners or leaders don’t often have experts in all the functional areas, so they are forced to wear all the hats. Yet, no one can be knowledgeable in every area, so the weight of those responsibilities can make success feel very elusive.
Five key areas have proven again and again to be the “tipping points” of success or failure. At Vesta, we find that awareness and clarity around these important areas are critical to helping business leaders increase their chances of success.
- Planning – Strategic Planning is the first key area. Various studies have shown that businesses that develop written plans vastly increase their odds of success by many measures, most importantly profitability. Strategic planning helps align and motivate your team, as well as chart a path forward. Planning is the concept of working ON the business instead of just IN the business.
- Marketing & Sales – Nothing in business happens without a sale, and a sale doesn’t happen unless there is a marketing program to draw customers in. Businesses without a strong focus in this area simply can’t match up to their competitors who take a more robust approach towards attracting consumers. When was the last time you analyzed your marketing programs or your sales pipeline?
- Human Capital Management – The biggest expenditure in most businesses is their investment in employees. In order to succeed, there has to be a return on that investment. That means hiring and retaining productive, motivated, dependable, knowledgeable, and aligned people to help you to run your business. More than ever, attention to hiring, training, and team building is critical to a business’ success. As the leader of your business, if you can spend more time nurturing your human capital, you’ll find more success.
- Financial Measurement & Monitoring – The financial record keeping function of a business is just as important as all of its other functions. Many business owners and managers abdicate this function to bookkeepers and outside accountants. While this may get the job done, an opportunity is being missed for the kind of analysis and strategy development that takes advantage of the market and outwits your competition. Simply put, your success depends on paying attention to the numbers.
- Leadership – This means YOU! How you lead your business and your team affects all of the success factors listed above, and even more. It begins by leading yourself by being disciplined with your time, open to learning new things, and taking care of your mind and body. You are critical to the motivation and building of your team and navigating them through the choppy waters of your market. All functions of business revolve around leadership. If leadership is weak, that deficiency spreads to the rest of the business. Effective leaders have effective followers using effective business systems and processes… the keys to success.
How would you rate your business on these five success factors? The complexity of business means that no one person can be completely knowledgeable and confident in every area. That’s why many successful businesses engage with advisors, coaches, mentors, and peer groups. The professional advisors at Vesta have the knowledge and background to help you fill in the gaps, elevating you and your business to new levels. Have a conversation with us about your business today, and let’s get you started on the path towards business prosperity!