The Art of Business Operation & How to Turn Mistakes into Success

If you were an expert who used to work with dozens of companies in some fields, you may discover that the successful ones share some common traits. Acknowledging them may be useful if you wish to be a business owner in the future.
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What do the most successful businesses have in common? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

The answer to this question is subjective. There are many successful businesses that thrive for a variety of reasons but if I was putting my money on it, these are in my opinion, the basic elements of a successful business.

Successful businesses solve a problem.

“What problem are you solving” has become the catch phrase of business coaches and VC’s today, but this acid test concept has been around in one form or another for decades.

Successful businesses have visionary leaders 

This is not simply a great vision statement, it is a leader that believes in the vision, sees it, is resolute in the ability of the business to make good on that vision. They have a clear path that spells out how to get there. A visionary leader has the ability to sell the vision well beyond the vision statement. They usually infect anyone they come in contact with, with their passion for what they are doing. That ability extends to their staff, suppliers, shareholders, etc. Everybody wants to be a part of that vision.

Successful businesses have systems in place. 

The more functions that are systemized, the more successful the business. You need to have your business rules embedded in your systems and teach new staff the system. Systems account for the next point common to successful business,

Successful businesses deliver consistent quality. 

Think McDonalds or Ikea. The customer expectation is set and consistent, regardless of where they are in the world, you know what to expect.

Successful businesses are built around the customer experience. 

From the way the phone is answered at the initial enquiry stage, to the impression the customer is left with after the sale is complete, will all speak to the customer comes first ethic of a successful business.

A successful business is data hungry. 

They always want to know what their customers think, what the changing trends in their industry are, the latest technology that might affect their business, how big their market is, how big their slice of that market is, are the sales going up, by how much etc. More than just run the business, most business owners want software and systems that deliver useful information to help run the business.

Well that would be the top picks for me. Other people might have others or ones I may have missed. These are the factors I would be looking for if I was buying into or buying a business.

If all these factors are there, then I could assume that the business is scalable, profitable or has the real potential to be and is primed for growth.

If one or two factors are missing but the business is still profitable, that opens up many areas to explore for even further improvement.

Contributed by Lee B

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