Building a successful business is no easy feat.
Millions and millions of people attempt to find financial and time freedom by building their own businesses and come up short.
For a long time, I struggled to see any glimmer of hope until I started to notice the patterns and similarities that all businesses have.
There are hundreds of different niches and industries one can enter to build a business and find success.
Although every business varies drastically, there are inherent similarities that all businesses entail.
To be successful in any business, there are certain 'elements' that must be met in order to guarantee your success.
Every business I had attempted over the last two years had lacked a majority of these elements until I realised what I was doing wrong and applied it to Hawk Prospecting.
Hawk Prospecting was the first business in which I saw almost immediate success because I had applied the elements that I will be discussing today.
In this article, we're talking about the 5 elements of a successful business.
Does your business have these? Let's find out!
An amazing product/service
The very first element of a successful business is an amazing product or service.
This is a no-brainer and something that you can't cut corners with.
A bad product will always get exposed eventually.
In today's day and age, it's almost impossible to get away with a bad product or bad customer experience.
The likes of Amazon have introduced the world to 1-day or even same-day delivery, with very strong customer service, raising the bar for all eCommerce businesses.
This is why a lot of dropshippers do not succeed with eCommerce.
In fact, a lot of dropshipping gurus also don't succeed, hence the reason they don't show you their stores over a long period of time.
You might be able to start off strong, however, if your product isn't up to par with what customers expect, it won't be long until returns flood in and your business is driven into the ground.
I've previously spoken about what it takes to build a successful eCommerce store - one of the factors was good, high-quality products.
Without quality products, you'll never be able to build a sustainable, long-term business.
With amazing products/services - it's not always about quality.
You also need to think about whether there's a demand for your products or services.
No or low demand also means that you've got a shakey business that might be very difficult to scale.
Not long ago, I was listening to a podcast by Ryan Daniel Moran, and he was interviewing the founder of Magic Spoon - a cereal brand that creates healthy alternatives to your favorite cereal brands.
Prior to Magic Spoon, Gabi Lewis owned Exo - a brand that created food bars made from cricket protein.
It was very difficult, but he managed to scale the company into a multi-million dollar brand.
However, with his most recent business, Magic Spoon, he was able to reach a valuation exceeding 9-figures within a few years of launching.
The company was an almost immediate success story.
Why was one business very successful while the other one struggled to pick up speed?
The founder himself said it was due to the demand for the products - it was very difficult to show people why eating cricket protein was a good alternative, however, making people eat cereal was easy as pie.
Therefore, one of the most important factors/elements of a successful business is to ensure you have a product people want, built with quality and consistency.
One effective acquisition channel
How do you acquire customers?
This is likely the most important question you'll ever ask yourself when you own a business.
You can have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, then what's the point?
On the other hand, you could have a mediocre product - a product that does the job and has demand, yet if your marketing is outstanding, you'll have a wildly successful company.
So where do you find your customers?
Today, it's easier than ever before to find customers.
Billions of people across the world are interconnected through the power of the internet.
Anyone can put up a Facebook ads campaign and start to drive traffic to their store.
Anyone can target a keyword on Google and start getting traffic to their site.
Anyone can make a semi-funny video on TikTok and drive free traffic to their brand.
However, when we trace back only a few years ago, it seemed like a nightmare attracting customers to your business.
Where do you even start? Billboards? TV ads?
Where do you even get the money for that?
With all the opportunities around us today, the challenge is not finding customers, it's sticking to one channel that works for you.
At the beginning of your business journey, it's fine to start with 10 different channels, however, you quickly want to scale down when you start to find that one channel that works for you.
The problem is getting held up doing too many things at once, making it difficult to focus only on what will move the needle.
No one can tell you what the best marketing channel will be for you - it's up to you to test and find out.
If you're an eCommerce store owner, yours can be:
You should test each channel out and find what works best for your unique situation.
While one eCommerce business might be wildly successful on Amazon, another might struggle to make a single sale on Amazon.
For them, it might be a lot easier to run influencer marketing campaigns and get sales that way.
There's a famous store here in the UK called 'Foot Asylum.'
They sell sneakers, and streetwear mainly focused on the youth market.
Instead of focusing all their attention on marketing via paid ads, they have a massive YouTube channel that creates content with some of the biggest UK YouTubers.
They don't sell, they don't run promotions in the video (most of the time).
They simply create content featuring these YouTubers and the sales come naturally.
The influencers are getting paid handsomely and so this might not be a strategy everyone can take advantage of, but it's just some food for thought.
At the end of the day, you want one channel that drives sales and revenue for your business.
Find what works best for you and do it.
Systems & processes
Systems and processes are the single most important part of any business.
It is impossible to scale a business without the right infrastructure in place.
Someone once told me that you can't build a skyscraper on the foundations of a house.
It simply won't work, everything will collapse before you know it.
The reason systems and processes are so crucial, is because they provide a simple and effective, even repetitive way, of scaling your business.
Let's look at a business that does this very well - Amazon.
When I worked at Amazon, I was able to see how they managed to ship such a large volume of products out to customers with speed and accuracy.
To begin, the floor plan was very basic - there were different sections, each with aisles that were numbered from 1 to X (usually up to 20, but it varied).
Each aisle had about 5 rows that went from A to J, for example.
On the other side of the floor was where trucks came in along with locations for carts to be stowed, ready for the drivers.
When workers came in for work, they'd pick up a device, log in, and pick a route.
The route would then give them a random selection of bags to collect and put onto a cart that carried 9 bags at a single time.
(Here's a video describing working at Amazon)
Your job was to follow the route to the correct aisle, pick up the correct bag, scan it, scan the cart, and repeat until it was full.
Someone else then comes to pick up the cart and place it in the correct place, ready for the delivery drivers to come and take it.
They'd scan the cart and get a location where they'd need to leave the carts.
The drivers then came in around 20 minutes later and had a cart they'd need to go and pick up.
There were different waves of drivers, and so the pickers would need to work hastily to make sure the bags were picked before the drivers arrived.
The process was very well organised and, although it got hectic sometimes, there were systems in place to fix those inconsistencies.
Of course, there's a lot more to the entire process than this, however, this is how the final stage, right before delivery, worked at Amazon - the biggest business in the world.
However, without these systems and processes, Amazon would probably not be the business it is today.
Systems and processes make it very easy for everyone to know exactly what to do in certain situations.
It streamlines everyone's roles and makes an environment that's perfect for scaling companies.
When you build a business on the right basis, it's much easier to scale knowing it won't' break under pressure.
Imagine Amazon reached the size it is now without these systems and processes.
It most likely would not exist anymore.
Here's something that a lot of founders struggle with - building a team.
When we start businesses, we're most likely starting companies as a one-man team.
We can't imagine, yet, what it would be like to be responsible for an entire team, and manage other people.
Unfortunately for us, building teams is the only way to build businesses and scale them exponentially.
You can't run a massive $1m+ per year business as a one-man team.
You might be able to pull it off at the $1m mark, but anything over that, and you'll need to start hiring the right people to do what they do best.
Luckily for us, actually, it doesn't need to be hard to build the right team.
One business model that I speak a lot about hiring in is the agency business model.
In fact, I've written an article about building an A-team to scale your marketing agency.
As an agency owner, the main reason my partner and I failed to effectively grow our agency was that we weren't good at any part of the business.
We weren't good marketers and so this bled through to when we were prospecting - we felt like imposters because we didn't know if we can even deliver what we're promising.
Add on top of this the fact that we were terrified to cold call or reach out to prospects, then you have a sh** show on your hands.
The few sales calls that we had ended up falling through because I wasn't confident enough to close the deals.
After owning the agency for almost a year, I ended up realising that the problem wasn't that we didn't know what to do, it was that we were doing things we didn't want to do.
Instead, we should have hired the right team, a team of people we liked and that we can work with, and that we knew can do the job.
That way, we can become real business owners, and not just wannabe agency owners.
Almost every business will require varying sets of skills to run it.
You can't hire a VA to develop your SaaS business, the same way you can't hire a developer to close deals for your marketing agency.
The thing about building a business is that you don't need a team from day 1.
It's normal to start as a one-man team, but in order to build a truly successful business, one of the most important elements is having the right team in place.
You may want to hire people to take care of things like:
- Social media,
It's up to you who to hire first, but in most cases, it will be hiring for the things you don't like to do.
My partner and I hated prospecting, so we hired a VA to handle it.
She did a better job than we could ever do, yet we couldn't close deals because we weren't any good at sales.
Therefore, the next thing we needed was someone to help us close deals.
Building a business is all just a big maze. You try something, it doesn't work, you try another thing it works, and you repeat.
The fifth and final element of a successful business is a roadmap or a plan for the future.
Facebook (Meta), for a long time, was unprofitable and was making almost no money.
How did Mark Zuckerberg manage to do this?
He had a long-term goal in mind - to become one of the largest companies in the world by acquiring the most users, then they can finally monetize.
Today, Facebook is one of the largest companies, wildly profitable too, simply because they focused on the bigger picture and had a plan to get there.
Facebook's plan all along was to get users, then monetize by selling advertising space to businesses - the same model that Google also uses.
Jeff Bezos started Amazon, not to be the biggest book retailer in the world, but to be the biggest in the world.
Today, he has achieved both goals, all because of the long-term vision and the plan to get there.
Jeff Bezos managed to not only build Amazon into a commerce giant, but they're also one of the biggest companies in the world in the SaaS/software world - something not everyone knew about Amazon.
See, one of Amazon's most profitable businesses is AWS (Amazon Web Services).
More recently, they've even opened physical stores around the world that can be accessed in various locations and will most likely be available everywhere at some point.
Amazon was a completely digital business until recently, and they still managed to become the biggest.
The reason why is because all of these businesses had a plan that they strictly followed.
I've talked about the one-page business plan that can take you from 0 to $1m.
After you reach $1m, you can then use the same plan to reach $2m, $5m, $10m, and so on.
You don't need a perfect plan.
You don't need a plan that spans 100s of pages.
You simply need a roadmap that you and the team can follow so that you understand where you want to be.
With Hawk Prospecting, I want to build an eco-system for sales professionals, a suite where they can come and find any and everything they need to succeed.
That's a multi-billion dollar vision.
Whether I decide to carry on with Hawk Prospecting or not, everything I pursue has a long-term vision, a bigger picture.
Only then, you'll be able to build a successful business because you know where you want it to go.
Does your business have these elements?
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Till next time,
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