There are six fundamental business goals and objectives necessary for success. The first thing you need to be aware of is that any online business or conventional business needs Six fundamentals to exist to be ultimately successful:
- A product or service that provides a solution to a problem or a physical or emotional benefit (obviously important);
- Demand – If there is not an existing demand, you are fighting a losing battle;
- Traffic – a steady flow of prospects that eventually become customers;
- Real estate – a location to conduct business (internet url, storefront, street corner, etc.);
- An element of uniqueness or personality (if you are selling the exact same thing in the exact same way as everyone else, it will be very difficult to be successful for very long).
- A mastermind team of two or more individuals with a common goal for the business. This does not necessarily mean you have to have employees or a partnership business. Joint venture partners or affiliate partners, where there is a mutual benefit for the growth your business can generate enormous success
The first two fundamentals, product and demand are obvious because no one will even bring out their wallet or purse if you are not providing them with a benefit (short of robbery or charity). Likewise, you would have to engage in strong arm (robbery) or government tactics to create a demand where there is none.
Again, the next two factors are an obvious necessity that speak for themselves.
Business factors 5 and six however, are the most overlooked fundamentals of any business.
Even major corporations go bankrupt because they misunderstand the last two factors on the list that do not seem as important. However, I will give a couple of examples as to why the last two basic success principles, can outweigh the more prominently known business needs.
Most start up businesses fail, not because they are missing out on a product that is in demand or a good location where potential customers exist. Businesses usually fail when the owner does not have the support network or team necessary to handle growth and they become overwhelmed with all of the small details of running a business, and they give up because the cost to their health, marriage or happiness outweighs the reward.
Another major cause of business failure comes when a business owner mistakenly tries to copy the business model of a larger company that is failing in that niche market. Large companies will often buy out small potential competitors to prevent future competition and then spend huge sums of money to prop up the business for appearance sake for the larger company, when the market does not justify the investment. Then, when others think there is huge profit based on the outward false impression, they want to jump on the band wagon only for profit motives without doing their own market research.
It is very important to create your own unique identity in whatever business you are in. It is also important to remember that your success relies on your ability to serve your customer, not the other way around.
Many years ago, when I had an hourly job and used to buy beer after work to relax with, there was a liquor store within a block of where I worked. It was a large store that had many investors. They spent a lot of money on advertising and employees and always had some kind of sale going on to attract more traffic. They also had the best location imaginable at the main intersection of the two highways coming through town. Their closest competitor was a tiny place one the edge of town.
From the first time I went to the store, the manager seemed somewhat arrogant. As it turned out, he was more than that. One day they were out of the kind of beer that I liked and I asked if there was some in the back. His reply was unbelievable. He said,”If it’s not in the cooler we don’t have it. It’s not like we stock up on that kind of (expletive) beer.
I felt insulted, because the beer I was requesting was an inexpensive brand and he made it sound as though my needs or desires were less important than someone who spent more money. That is not a good idea if you want to keep a customer. Needless to say, I did not go back for awhile. The next time I did go back, he made sure he eliminated any future desire I might have of returning. When I asked him for a sack for the beer, he replied, “what’s wrong with the handle on the 12 pack?”
I have never been back to that business and the friendly little store on the edge of town has a full parking lot at times. I wonder why. The only other time I have come across a business that seemed to try to eliminate future business, was from a manager at a chicken franchise restaurant that had a 1/2 price sale on specific dinners right on the front of the store. I ordered one of those dinners and was charged full price. I asked him to correct the billing and he told me he could not because he had entered it into the register as a dinner and it was my fault for not asking for the ‘special’ so he could push the right button. Now he can not change it or it will screw up his books. He refused to give me my change and I filed a complaint with his corporate office. I have no idea if he is still there because I will not go back.
I do not understand what the goals of these two managers were, however, I am quite sure they are not in tune with the investors in those companies. That kind of scenario is as undesirable to a business owner or investor as an uncooperative spouse who has no regard for the business, but demands access to the bank accounts. It is a recipe for failure.
It is better to have a competitor as part of your mastermind team, when possible, to work as a team to generate business for both companies and share in the rewards. That scenario is always more profitable than competition from within tearing each other down. Competitive internet businesses commonly take turns promoting each others products as joint venture partners, benefiting both businesses far more than they would benefit on their own.
It is also extremely important if you are starting out, to find a mentor who is established in the business arena you are wanting to go into. Their experience and insight can literally save you years of trial and error, and if you can create a business that is mutually beneficial, the sky is the limit to your success.
It seems obvious to an outside observer that the success of a business would rely on it’s ability to stand out from the crowd and be unique in serving it’s customers. However, in today’s franchise society, where big corporations have thousands of exact duplicate small businesses owned by different franchisees, small business owners and investors often mistakenly look at these large entities as an example to follow, when in fact, many of these franchise giants are crumbling under their own weight.
One of the biggest problems large corporations face today, is that they have become so diversified within themselves, as they were buying out competitors, in order to own various market shares, they no longer have the mastermind team that originally brought them to this point of business success.
If they have diversified to much from the original goal as they grew, they begin to compete with themselves within the company. As a result, in order to show profitability in one branch of the company, a middle executive must be in competition with an executive in another branch of the company in order to thrive and continue to get investors to loan to his branch of the company. This kind of competition can be damaging, if the bureaucracy and diversification is to large.
In today’s marketplace, huge corporations are straddled with debt, have huge bureaucracies, and only seem to be in business for the profit and the investor. The time is right and the low hanging fruit is there if you want to create a business with the customer in mind.
By Brian Fowler