How to Create a Successful Business

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”     These words from Proverbs 29:18 are powerful and have important meaning to individuals who desire to build a successful business. The secret to real success is to develop a focused vision of what type of business one wishes to create and on what area of products does one wish to concentrate. Yes, there are exceptions to this concept. Some businesses offer a wide-array of products with a scattered focus, but rarely do they become truly successful. There has to be a core focus to bring clarity to the vision and the position a business wishes to acquire. Focus brings clarity and clarity moves your brand to the forefront giving you a powerful platform on which to build your business.

Here are steps you can use to examine how you can position your business. If a piece of the puzzle is missing, take steps to incorporate the missing ideas.

Determine Your Vision. Ask yourself these three questions: What business am I in today? What kind of business do I want to become? What must be done to fill the gap? By answering these questions, you dramatically improve your ability to achieve whatever destination you choose. And, in the process, you’ll determine your true focus and vision for the future.

It’s Time for Action. It’s not sufficient to just develop a vision. We must act on that vision. And, all our actions should drive us closer to our vision. If we fill our time with meaningless activities that cannot move our business forward, we run the risk of never achieving our vision. The rule to follow is: “If it doesn’t support the vision, it should not be done.” It’s a tough but necessary discipline all successful enterprises utilize.

Commit To Excellence. A half-hearted effort pays very little dividends. Consider the advice of Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, who said, “The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” The stronger your commitment to excellence in marketing, proper product selection and identification of why you are in business, the stronger you position yourself. Excellence in every facet of your business will separate you from the competition.

Learn To Solve Problems. Use every setback as a lesson learned. Break it down into its smallest component and learn how to analyze the bits of information gathered. Reflect, adjust and introduce new actions. Test new ideas until you discover the best ones to use. Constantly adjust and correct your course and soon your problems will turn into opportunities.

Use The Baldrige Award Standards. The Malcolm Baldrige quality award is given annually to outstanding businesses in the United States. A rigid criterion of excellence in business practices serves as the guideline for the Baldrige winners. The seven areas of excellence are:  leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resource development, process management and business results. How does your business rate in these areas? Could your business model qualify for the Baldrige?

Use Teamwork. Your team includes employees, suppliers and anyone else you meet in the course of doing business. Embrace a cooperative relationship with everyone you interact with on a daily basis. Develop a clear set of ground rules by which you will run your business. Cooperation gets results. High egos and an uncooperative spirit produce chaos and failure.  Which do you want?

Develop A Passion. We must have a passion for our work. Our customers are too important and sophisticated to receive anything less than a passionate commitment to service. Commit to the process of building your business. Process is a long-term commitment that demands unrelenting attention. We must love what we do. If we don’t, we shortchange our customers and more importantly, we shortchange ourselves.

Where there is no vision, the people perish—powerful words for powerful people. However, they are meaningless words to those who are blind to the opportunities of life.  What type of person are you?

Well, how did you do? How many of the seven steps do you have firmly ingrained in your business strategy? If things are not going as well as you’d like them to be, perhaps you are simply not working the right processes. Start with these steps and add your own. Building a successful business requires lots of hard work and an unwavering commitment to succeed. But the payoff is a wonderfully appreciative group of customers and the personal satisfaction that perhaps, in some small way you have bettered the lives of those who choose to do business with you. What a way to make a living!


Billy Arcement, MEd is a Professional Speaker, Leadership Strategist and President of The Results Group. He wrote the book, Searching for Success, now internationally published. He co-authored, Journeying on Holy Ground—Christian Strategies to Reach Your Personal, Professional, and Spiritual Destiny.   ©2012. All rights reserved. Use by permission.