According to Gerber, there four essential ingredients of a successful business system:
It creates the right impression for the target market. The impression is created by product, packaging, retail displays, advertising, signage, your web site, the way you and your employees are dressed, the way you answer the phone, the appearance of your parking lot … everything.
It appeals to the emotional needs of the customers and employees. People need to be heard, to feel that that what they do is important, and to be connected to something larger than themselves. Think about customers of Apple Computer and the employees who create the products for them.
It is organized to produce the best results with imperfect people. A great system turns ordinary people into extraordinary people. Everyone knows what their role is and how they contribute to the success of the company. The system has high standards. It works predictably even when the owner isn’t present. You do plan to take some time off, don’t you?
It has financial integrity. The business earns a profit, customers are charged correctly, employees and suppliers are paid on time, and investors earn a good return. All four groups – customers, employees, suppliers, and investors – get more from your business than they can expect from any competitor.
Start by choosing the right business and the right customers. When you start your business, focus on the entrepreneur role. It’s hard to stand out in a commodity business where prices and margins are low, and products or services are almost interchangeable.
- Look for an important problem or opportunity experienced by a lot of people.
- Reach out to customers who value what you do and will pay appropriately for it.
- Create a system that exceeds the expectations of these customers. Set standards that make your business stand out. Improve the system as you go to keep up with changes in customer expectations.
SCORE counselors are available locally or on-line to help you create and manage a successful business. Call us in Pinellas County at (727) 532-6800 or go online to www.pinellascounty.score.org.
Image courtesy of Jessa-Minnie via creative commons license.