Three Elements of Small Business Success

| March 10, 2014

March 5, 2014

There are a myriad of factors that play a role in success for small businesses. Some are more important that others and can be internal or external, or a combination of both. Three elements that are of major importance and consistently contribute to the long-term sustainability of small businesses include Marketing, Product or Service, and Integrity and Credibility. Let’s consider each in more detail with an eye toward implementation in your small business.


Marketing is what a business does to promote its product or service. Marketing includes sales, advertising, public relations, and branding (what your company stands for, or the image it projects). What is important about marketing is that it must “hit the mark” all of the time. Every dollar you spend and ounce of energy you contribute to marketing must count in a big, big way to promote your business and, better, generate sales and revenue.

As a small business, you don’t have the luxury of wasted efforts related to marketing. Marketing can’t just be a “feel good” proposition. When marketing does not hit the intended target with the right message, a competitor will be the one that will hit the intended target with the right message. Competition is too fierce and resources too valuable. The fruits of victory in small business (the revenue) go to the business that understands how to market and make the most effective use of energy and marketing resources.

Neglecting to market, even on the most meager budget, is not an option. You are only exacerbating the challenge your business faces in building clients and producing revenue.


Very few companies own a monopoly on their product or service. You must, therefore, differentiate your company’s product or service from your competitors’. Hence, being the best is everything.

However, being the best doesn’t necessarily mean the highest quality or cheapest price. It means being the best in the class or segment. For example, selling cars is a competitive business. However, not every car is in the same class. There are various categories and price levels. Therefore, you are not having to be the best car, period, but be the best in your segment. Your car may sell for $30,000, though others sell for $80,000. It would be hard to compete with a car almost triple your price. Therefore, your competition is other cars in your price segment. You would need to be the best in that segment to win your market share.

Providing value and quality for your customer needs to be your company’s goal and that pursuit will direct your efforts in everything from production to marketing.


This factor should underline everything your business does. They must be unquestioned by your customers, clients, and anyone involved with the business. Integrity is not about being perfect or never making a mistake. It is about being fair, honest, and operating with a moral code of doing what is right.

Credibility is about being believed by others as being true and honest. Integrity works within your business; credibility works outside of your business.

Both, though are interrelated. You, as an owner, set examples for employees as to how the company will conduct its business. If you have the right employees, they will follow that lead. Your customers will see the exemplary qualities of the business that set it apart from your competition and will want to do business with you and the company.


There is no easy answer to the question of small business success. It can be a complicated and challenging effort. However, without these three cornerstones to contribute to your potential for success there is little to no way of ever finding the sustainability your business will need.

Boost Performance by Managing Mindfully

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