The small business world can be a real jungle. Unfortunately,there is no magic eight ball for answering how to run a successful business.After looking at several top businesses, a few core characteristics often stand out.

At the Core

Both business magazines and venture capitalist television shows agree on the one common characteristic that successful companies share: In order to be a successful business, the business must solve a consumer’s problem. Whether your business is in the service, sales, manufacturing, whatever industry – your business must solve a consumer’s pain point or provide a convenient solution to a real problem.

The Next Steps

Once you’ve established that your business solves a problem, there are several other characteristics you’ll need to adopt to be successful:

  • Control Accounts Payable & Receiving – A business can live and die by its cash flow. Invoices should be paid and collected within the terms agreed upon with your vendor or customer.
  • Be Financially Literate – Use an accounting software or a bookkeeping service to stay aware of your financial health at all times.
  • Convert Customer Service into Retention – A company must be willing to exceed its customer’s expectations. Creating a happy, memorable experience for a customer often results in word-of-mouth (whether through face-to-face interaction or over social media) testimonials.
  • Stay Organized – You should have processes and systems in place for all major functions of your business. Have detailed checklists and processes written out with the mindset that--if necessary--someone could step into your role and fulfill your duties.
  • Communicate Constantly – Whether it’s with customers through marketing efforts, employees, or vendors, know your message and communicate what’s happening in your business.

Succeeding

Being an entrepreneur is a constant learning experience. See you mistakes as an opportunity to improve upon your decision-making process. When analyzing competitors, looks for unique opportunities to do something different from what they are doing. Keep constantly evolving and growing as a business and an individual.

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