Welcome to the ‘Davidsons GSBF Diaries’! In this series, we delve into the insights and key learnings from our recent ‘Unlocking the Secrets to Small Business Success’ event, which was a highlight of the 2023 Geelong Small Business Festival. Local business owners gathered to hear from our specialist panel on how to transform their small business and learnt about planning for success, business budgeting, reporting and accounting files, and the value of business valuations.

In our first article, we discuss the key factors you should consider when building your business for success. If you have any questions on business planning, or any of the other topics shared in the Davidsons GSBF Diaries, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices on (03) 5221 6399 or at info@davidsons.com.au.

Achieving success in the world of business is a journey that requires careful navigation through a myriad of challenges and opportunities. While each venture is unique, there are key components that consistently contribute to achieving success. We’ve identified the key components we believe are required to run a successful business.

The key factors to business success

Have a clear vision and mission

Think of your business as a ship, and your vision and mission as the captain’s compass. Your vision is like the direction you want to go, and your mission is why you’re on this journey. Having a clear vision and mission helps you make smart choices and keeps everyone moving in the same direction.

Create a solid business plan

A business plan is like a roadmap for your business. A well-thought-out plan tells you what you want to achieve, how you’ll do it, and what resources you’ll need along the way. You must invest the time to develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your goals, target market, competition analysis, marketing strategies, financial projections, and growth plans.

Keep a strong customer focus

Customers are like friends who support your business. To keep them happy, you need to know what they like and what problems they have. By listening to your customers and giving them what they want, you’ll build a loyal group of supporters who keep coming back.

Embrace innovation

Innovation is like adding new flavours to your menu. People like trying new things, and your business should too. Being open to new ideas, whether it’s new products or better ways of doing things, can make your business stand out and ensure you are efficient and effective in everything you do.

Commit to strong financial management

Just like how you manage your household budget, you need to manage your business’s money. Keep track of your income and expenses, manage cash flow effectively, and budget wisely. A financially healthy business is better equipped to weather challenges and seize opportunities.

Build a strong team

Surround yourself with a talented and dedicated team. This may initially be a strong support network in the form of trusted advisors and associates who can be your sounding board and support you in your journey.

When you’re at the stage of hiring employees, ensure they’re the right people for your business. They should align with your business values and share your vision. Once you have your team in place make sure you invest in training and providing opportunities for growth to retain top talent and grow your business further.

Develop an effective marketing strategy

A well-rounded marketing strategy to create awareness about your business and attract customers is key to building your presence and brand in the market. Utilise online and offline marketing channels that are most effective for your industry and where necessary and possible, outsource and automate this activity.

Monitor your competitors

Keep a close eye on your competitors’ activities and learn from their successes and failures. This information can help you refine your strategies and stand out in the market.

Be adaptable

In the business world, things can change quickly, just like the weather. Being adaptable is like having an umbrella when it rains unexpectedly. If you can adjust your plans and strategies when things don’t go as planned, you’ll be better prepared for whatever comes your way.

Don’t go it alone

Running a business requires you to wear a multitude of hats and develop skills across a wide range of areas. Don’t hesitate to ask for help but more importantly, don’t try to do everything on your own. You have established your business because you have a passion and skill you want to share with others. Focus on those skills, the things you do best, and surround yourself with supporters and advisors that can take care of the things that they do best. It takes teamwork to make the dream work.

Creating a successful business demands a blend of vision, planning, customer orientation, innovation, financial acumen, teamwork, effective marketing, adaptability, and competitor awareness. By integrating these essential components, you’re setting the stage for a successful journey for you and your business.

This article was written in collaboration with Justin McGrath, Kylie McEwan, Troy Nolan, Katelyn Shirley, Michael Rebula, and Daniel Neeson.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is factual in nature and objectively ascertainable and, therefore, does not constitute financial product advice. Importantly, the factual information that has been supplied does not take into account your personal circumstances, objectives or goals.