THE 7 Key Ingredients You MUST Have In Order to Create a Successful Business

There are 7 things that you absolutely need to have in order to have a successful business.  And when I say “successful business,” I mean a business that is profitable, provides value, and is a joy to own.  If you’re struggling in your business, in any way, shape, or form, you are likely missing one of the key ingredients in your recipe for success.

The 7 main ingredients for a successful business are:

  1. A great product or service that your target market will want to buy.  You can’t sell something just because you’re passionate about it or because you love doing it.  Does your product or service provide tremendous value to your customers and clients?  Does it help them to solve a specific problem or achieve a specific goal?  If not, go back to the drawing board and brainstorm some ways to add value and help them get to their desired outcome.
  2. A lucrative target market.  Are your potential clients hungry for what you have to offer?  You might have perfected your craft, service, or product but if you’re targeting people who can’t or won’t pay for your services, you’re wasting your time.  Don’t just target the people you want to help, target the people who WANT your help.
  3. Strategic thinking.  Building a truly successful business requires you to be able to visualize what you want and to create a plan to get there.  Every action you take in your business requires forethought, planning, and execution.  Success doesn’t come from slinging spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.
  4. Systems for EVERYTHING.  I always tell my clients, “If you have to do anything more than once, figure out the most effective and efficient way to do it and then do it that way all the time.”  In order to have a successful business, things need to run smoothly, efficiently, and effectively.  You can’t waste time and money putting out fires, apologizing for things slipping through the cracks, or missing opportunities because you don’t have your stuff together.  Systematize everything.
  5. Support from others.  It’s really difficult to run a profitable and sustainable business completely on your own.  Get out of your shell and connect with others who can help you grow your business in some way. Surround yourself with others who believe in you.  Hire other professionals to help you handle everything that falls outside of your core area of expertise.  Sure, you may enjoy dabbling in web design, but shouldn’t you be out getting clients? Hire a designer.  Sure, you could be doing your own accounting, but it’s been a long time since you’ve done your books and shouldn’t you be out getting a client? Hire a bookkeeper and/or accountant.  You get my point.
  6. A solid profit structure.  Structure your services so that your clients get good, consistent results, and you earn a good, consistent income.  Don’t charge strictly by the hour—doing so is rarely good for anyone.  Beware of discounting, bartering, and trading—you need cash flow (and a profit) to stay in business.  Work through your money issues and stand firm in the value you provide.
  7. Courageous action.  Owning your own business is not for the faint of heart.  You have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone, tell people about your business, and set bold goals in order to truly own a successful business.  If owning your own successful business wasn’t scary, everyone would have one.  Don’t let fear ever stop you from doing what you know you need to do in order to create the business you desire.  Be bold and be in action.

I would love to hear your comments on the “7 Key Ingredients.”  Please feel free to share your comments.  And if you would like to figure out what your next steps are in building a successful business click here.

© 2012 Tiffany deSilva

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7 Response to “THE 7 Key Ingredients You MUST Have In Order to Create a Successful Business ”

Sue Painter
April 20, 2012
7:53 pm

Comment :

I like all your points, but the one I like the most is courageous action. To my mind, it is an act of courage to be a small business owner to begin with. And we have to re-invent that courage many times as we go about our business. Thanks for all this true tips.

Linda Pucci
April 22, 2012
8:31 am

Comment :

These are absolutely TRUE, Tiffany! I’ve been in business since 1983 and the thing I would add is that you need to keep all these ingredients out and easily accessible all the time, revisiting them, re-evaluating their presence in your business. When you forget even one of them, it changes everything and makes your business less palatable.

Mary Ellen Miller
April 22, 2012
1:34 pm

Comment :

Thank you for the excellent tips Tiffany. As a small business owner I found them very useful.

Jennifer Bourn
April 27, 2012
8:10 am

Comment :

Love this list … and love your suggestion to have systems for everything. Creating systems in my business has changed EVERYTHING. We’ve saved so much time we’ve been able to work with more clients. The clients we do work with feel more taken care of because nothing slips through the cracks. And, the systems we have created have allowed us to more easily add team members because there are systems for them to use and follow.

Jennifer Bourn, Bourn Creative
Transforming Businesses into Extraordinary Brands with Websites That Work When You’re Not Working.

May 22, 2012
1:21 am

Comment :

Thanks for this clear information in a nutshell. There is only one thing that I feel is always missing in this list. How do new target markets come into existence? I mean, there is people out there who create something new that then people want to buy. These people are so to speak “creating their demand” or a new target market. I would love to learn how to “create a demand”. How does that work?

Tiffany deSilva
May 27, 2012
5:04 pm

Comment :

Hi Joseann,

Thanks for reading and commenting. Even the most innovative products that come to market are built upon the shoulders of those who came before them. The iPhone wouldn’t exist if there weren’t already cell-phones, computers, or portable cd players. And cd players wouldn’t exist without casette players, which wouldn’t exist without 8-track, or albums, or pianos, etc.

Before anything else, businesses exist because they solve problems for people–innovators just solve them in a new way. They aren’t really creating new markets or new demand, they are looking for gaps in existing markets and filling them in their own creative ways.

May 30, 2012
11:06 am

Comment :

Hi Tiffany,
thank you for your answer. Nothing really new on the planet, it seems :-) .

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