5 ways to tackle challenges of continuing your business success
Getting your business off the ground is a challenge few are willing to face - and even fewer have the ambition and skill to tackle. But once you’ve turned that ambition to start a business into a reality, a new challenge begins: maintaining that success.
That’s easily said but hard done in a marketplace that’s always on the move, as competitors emerge, tastes change and demand ebbs and flows. Success, then, isn’t a set state but an approach that helps you to keep your edge.
And while nobody ever said it was easy, there are a few things you can keep in mind going forward:
Look at where you want to be
The five-year survival rate for businesses born in 2011 was 44.1%, according to the Official for National Statistics. That means the remaining 55.9% don’t make it past those first five years.
Having a plan can be a key tool to getting past that five-year mark - and there’s no reason why you can extend that to 10 years, 15 years or beyond.
But a plan can’t come to fruition without nailing down those objectives, so what does success look like? Everybody will have a different answer, but there’s few greater barriers to success than not knowing exactly what success means to you.
It could mean pursuing growth, or simply doing things better. Still, knowing what ‘success’ looks like for your business will start to give you an idea of what you’ll need to get there.
Look at where you are now
Now that you know where you want to go, looking at where you are now will shed light on what you need to do to get there.This isn’t necessarily as simple as it sounds.
Conducting a brutally honest assessment of your business as it stands now isn’t easy - and it’s certainly not fun. There’s no limit to how far this can go. It might be a review of the products and services you offer, the way you operate or the way your business talks to the outside world.
And if you’re unsure as to a metric by which to measure the success of the status quo, ask yourself how it benefits the customer - because if it doesn’t, that might be something worth paying attention to.
Don’t be afraid to try something new
That could mean attempting to do something that’s never been done before.
But that’s just one definition of ‘something new’. It could mean introducing new incentives for your customers or talking to them in a way that your competitors don’t.
It could be internal, too. Giving your employees a new way to work could boost efficiency giving them the time to do more elsewhere in your business.
Whatever ‘doing something new’ means to you, it’s never without its challenges. Every attempt won’t always give you the results you want, but you won’t know what your business is capable of until you try change, if only piecemeal.
Boodles is an example of a business that’s always doing more, even after two centuries.
Prepare to do away with the old
It’s difficult to resist the allure of the familiar. It feels right, it feels safe - and it feels like what has always worked will always continue to work.
It gets the job done, but that isn’t to say it’s always the best way to do it.
But ‘the old’ doesn’t have to be product or service. It might be an attitude and the willingness to abandon the typical day-to-day. It might mean throwing out old ways of doing things.
As the marketplace changes, the old is replaced by new - and your business is no different. Having the confidence part from established rituals isn’t always easy, but is crucial to reinvigorating your business and achieving those business goals.
Take care of what you have
Going for the long-term relationship over the seemingly long-term gains will give you that bedrock on which to maintain that success.
That might sound obvious - but as your customers change and grow, their needs and ambitions change too. Innovation can help you to embrace those changes, as it gives you the ability to respond to their evolving needs.
Making that investment in establishing partnerships with customers won’t only encourage recurring revenue, but give you a seat at the table in that customer’s future plans.
Providing that service and engendering customer loyalty can give you the time and resource to explore those future possibilities.
Build the right team
Being prepared to handle that sudden, unexpected success can come down to having the right team behind you. A long-term vision is only as strong as the team supporting it.
Innovation and long-term success signals creativity, forward thinking and stability, traits that can attract new talent with new and ambitious ideas.
Establishing what you need to do will give you that vision - and having them buy into your ambitions for the future will be critical to the collaboration you need to bring them to fruition.
Boodles is an example of a business that’s always doing more, even after two centuries. Find more about this 6th-generation family legacy and their business ambitions.
[Link to Boodles video on landing page]
If you know what that ambition is for your business, share it with us. We’re running a competition where you can win a promotional video for your business by sharing your #BusinessAmbition by clicking below.
Share your ambition story to win a promotional video for your business
Connect 2 Cleanrooms' ambition story
Connect 2 Cleanrooms all started in Joe's hallway - but it didn't stop there. Managing Director Joe Govier talks about how his company went from Lancaster to San Francisco's Silicon…
Boodles' ambition story
On the 220th birthday of Boodles’ 6th generation family legacy, Managing Director Michael Wainwright and Marketing Director James Amos discuss what ambition means to them today.