How to Succeed in Your Small Business: What the Experts Say

April 19, 2013 | By | Reply More

We all know the stats: 80 percent of new businesses fail. The question, therefore, is: How can your business be part of the 20% that succeeds and flourishes? With so many businesses being started, why do some succeed while many more fail?

We looked at the factors authors and experts say contribute to the success of a business. Here are ways on how to succeed in your small business:

how to succeed

Best selling author Seth Godin lists his five pillars of success

  • See (really see) what’s possible
  • Know specifically what you want to achieve
  • Make good decisions
  • Understand the tactics to get things done and to change minds
  • Earn the trust and respect of the people around you

The book The Six Fundamentals of Success: The Rules for Getting It Right for Yourself and Your Organization by Stuart Levine provides these factors for success in entrepreneurship:

  • Make sure you add value
  • Communicate up and down, inside and out
  • Know how to deliver results
  • Conduct yourself and your business with integrity
  • Invest in relationships
  • Gain perspective

In the article 10 Rules for Small Business Success, here are factors that contribute to the success of a small business:

  • Find a Niche.
  • Be small, yet think big.
  • Differentiate your products.
  • First impression counts.
  • Good reputation.
  • Constant improvement.
  • Listen to your customers.
  • Plan for success.
  • Be innovative.
  • Work smart.

According to the book “Loops: The Seven Keys to Small Business Success” by Dr. Mile Chaet and Dr. Stephen Lundin, success in business is all about closing loops – the right loops. Here are the seven essential loops of small business success.

  • Manage the Experience Zones.
  • Build a winning culture.
  • Monitor the Fundamentals.
  • Standardize every major process.
  • Innovate.
  • Live in the real world.
  • Lead by example.

George Rodriguez in the article “How to Launch a Successful Startup” lists 12 factors that are important in creating and building a successful start up business:

  • Have a long-term vision
  • Hire the best people – and manage them well.
  • Keep your focus.
  • Innovate; don’t duplicate.
  • Keep realistic expectations.
  • Have a clear understanding of the market and your competition.
  • Run your business lean.
  • Get the right partners.
  • Develop a culture of success in your organization.
  • Conduct regular business and market review.
  • Learn, and keep on learning.
  • Prepare for changes.

Susan Ward of Canada lists 10 tips for starting a small business that will succeed. Her lists include:

  • Do what you love.
  • Start your business while you’re still employed.
  • Don’t do it alone.
  • Get clients or customers first.
  • Write a business plan.
  • Do the research.
  • Get professional help.
  • Get the money lined up.
  • Be professional from the get-go.
  • Get the legal and tax issues right the first time.

The article “10 Power Steps to Small Business Success” by Isabel Isidro lists steps that can help build a solid foundation for your small business:

  • Develop your personal and company goals.
  • Define a viable market segment for your product or service.
  • Develop your marketing plan.
  • Write your initial version of the business plan
  • Determine your financing needs.
  • Form your key teams: founders, management, and directors.
  • Finalize your financing needs and create your formal business plan.
  • Develop a marketing strategy to obtain financing for your company
  • Market your plan successfully, attracting capital on your terms
  • Market your product/service and manage your business to achieve your goals

Jim Blasingame listed the success factors espoused by his friend Doug Wilson,  Vice President for Marketing at Palo Alto

  • Choice of business
  • Education and experience
  • People
  • Creativity in Management
  • Potential of the Industry
  • Understanding the Information Collected
  • The Corridor Principle or ability to change focus in response to market demand

Jim Tracy, President and Founder, America’s Best Companies, gave these factors for a small business to succeed

  • Ask your customers the question, “What can I do for you?”
  • Form a mastermind group
  • Become known within your community
  • Distribute a newsletter
  • Every business should have a website



Jenny Fulbright

Jenny Fulbright

Jenny Fulbright is a writer for

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Category: Success Tips

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