There are many keys to running a successful business, but here are three typical areas I see that small business owners and salespeople often ignore.
1) Have a system for everything. If you do not have a system for your business, you have chaos. What we often do in our businesses is we go out and we do the same things over and over and over again, rather than writing it down and putting it in a book. Saying to your staff "Here's how you do this, you can do this better than I can." Systematize everything.
2) You have to get out of whatever business you think that you are in (most people think that they are in the restaurant business or the sales business, etc.) and get into the "capturing and keeping a customer" business. Once you get out of the car or MLM business and start to zoom in on what customers you want to capture, who's right for your business and what you need to do to keep them then you have identified a major key to running a profitable business.
3) Make sure you have the right customer. Not every customer is created equally. Find the customers who best fit what you are doing. Sometimes you might need to fire some customers. Sounds harsh, but for the survival of your enterprise you have to know where to focus your resources so that you can get the maximum return on your time and money. Begin working on these 3 key areas: Have a system for everything, adopt the "capturing and keeping a customer" mindset and finding the right customers and you will be well on your way to having the successful business you desire.
John P. Hayes, Ph.D. is the co-author with Zig Ziglar of Network Marketing For Dummies.