7 traits of successful small businesses

By Jen McKenzie

Each small business is unique in different ways, but many of the most successful small businesses share a few key features. Likewise, some of the factors that may be a detriment to a business are common as well. For example, some business owners are perfectionists and set unreasonably high expectations or standards. In this way, some business owners set their business up for high employee turnover and possibly failure. Some business owners may not able to determine how well the company is doing, while other are blind to any issues with the company that require change and improvements.

When you recognize what the signs of a successful small business are and what some of the traits of a successful business involve, you may be able to make some positive changes in your business that position you for success.

What makes a business successful?
Business owners can measure the overall success of their business in different ways, such as through strong sales and profits or excellent customer satisfaction ratings. While it is important to analyze financial indicators related to your business, you should be aware that leading traits associated with a successful business are not all tied to numbers. These are some important indicators beyond the sales and profit numbers that could indicate that your business is on the path toward success.

– Inspired workforce
The most successful businesses have highly motivated employees who are devoted to the overall success of the company. They are committed to ensuring that each customer has a great experience with the company, and they also understand the importance of their individual contributions to the company. More than that, they are happy to be at work every day, and this shows through in their overall attitude at work on a daily basis.

Remember that motivated employees should be praised often, but they also may be open to receiving constructive criticism that helps them to improve in different ways. Finding a way to motivate employees and boost morale is critical if you want your business to be successful.

– Satisfied customers
One of the best ways to measure the success of your business is through your customers. Your business should impact your customers’ lives in positive ways. Your goal should be to get existing customers to return to you as well as to recommend you to their friends and other contacts.

More than that, you should make yourself easily visible to new customers, and one of the signs that your business is on target is when new customers are eager to do business with you. Consider using polls, surveys and other methods to gauge customer satisfaction.

– Authority and trustworthiness
If you run a successful small business, you may easily be considered an expert in your field. You and your employees may be used as expert sources for news and commentary in TV and print stories, and your customers or colleagues may seek your advice in different ways as well. Understand that your ability to establish credibility and trust with others in your industry can put you on a fast track toward success.

If you are committed to running a successful business, you need to understand that business is rarely static. In fact, it can rapidly change within a very short period of time, and you need to be flexible enough to adjust to change. You may even need to embrace change and recognize the opportunities it brings for enhanced profits and growth. To make full use of change in different ways, you may also need to use technology strategically.

Optimistic mindset
As a business owner, your overall attitude toward your customers, colleagues, employees and others can make or break your company’s success. Others should flock to you because of your positive attitude. They should enjoy following you because you are a strong leader with a passion that is contagious. Remember that you must convey your enthusiasm and encourage others to be motivated as well.

– A healthy and caring work environment
A successful business has a healthy and caring work environment that employees enjoy spending time in. You should understand that your best employees may naturally work hard for you and be focused on putting forth their best effort, but they should be encouraged to take personal time.

The last thing you want is for them to burn out. Consider allowing your employees telecommuting opportunities. This can decrease their stress level and improve morale. Your human resources policies regarding illnesses, vacation time and more should be reasonable and even compassionate.

– Concentrating on the future
Successful companies usually do not stumble upon success out of pure luck. Instead, business owners often have thoughtful short-term and long-term plans. These plans provide scope and vision, and they can help you make excellent decisions moving forward. Furthermore, they may be used to inspire and motivate your employees to work hard for your company.

If you are preparing to launch a new business or you are looking for an effective way to take your established business to the next level, focusing on the traits can help you to achieve lofty goals. Spend time analyzing your business to identify areas that require improvement. By making the effort to detect your company’s weaknesses and to improve in specific areas, you can position your company for improved success in the years to come.


Jen McKenzie is a freelance writer from New York, NY. She is fascinated by all things having to do with words, business, education and cutting-edge. When Jennifer is not busy writing, she enjoys taking long walks and spending time with her two pets, Brando and Marlon. You can reach Jennifer on Twitter at @jenmcknzie.

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