Attributes of a Successful SME…
As part of Fistral’s 21st anniversary year, we’ve asked the Directors to share their thoughts and experiences on a variety of business-related issues. In the sixth of the series, they comment on the key elements that make a successful business.
For the sixth article in our 21st anniversary Top Tips series we asked:
“What are the key attributes of a successful SME?”
According to our Directors, successful businesses always:
- Focus on Excellent Products
- You can get away with many failings if the product is just downright excellent…
- Understand that “Customer is King”
- Without them you have no business.
- Keep Customer Needs in Mind
- … And meet them… Identify what the customer isn’t currently able to do that they would like to be able to, and help them to do it. Without this you will have no discernible value.
- Maintain Low Overheads
- It is not the lack of income that puts SMEs out of business but the relentless outgoings, so keep them low.
- Employ Great Staff
- If employing staff, choose very well indeed as they are the stronghold of your business and hold your, and the business’, reputation in their hands.
- Avoid Bank Loans
- Never borrow from a bank if you can help it. Keep the company with some reserves to allow you to navigate through those lean times.
- Focus on Core Strengths
- Don’t try and spread yourself or your business activities too thin. Identify what you excel in, work out why that is useful to customers, and what you do that is different to everyone else (your USP).
- Keep Competitors in their Sights
- Understand your market and don’t underestimate (or overestimate!) your competitors.
- Prioritise Income Generating Work
- You can’t do everything you want to so focus on revenue generating work… which ultimately links back to focusing on customer satisfaction.