What Makes a Successful Independent Business?
Whether your independent business is a still a basement start-up or you’re about to open your doors to the public, there are common factors that make for success. Outside of your service, product, or concept, these factors relate to your operational standards and your team, and they are essential to each good business.
At the core of an independent business is that you are free to make decisions. Not only does this allow for great freedom of expression, supporting the creation of interesting and alternative ideas, but it is also often celebrated by local communities who seek to find identity in their area, which cannot be found with larger business brands. This is why independent businesses that find great success are typically those that celebrate and demonstrate their integrity.
This integrity can be found in various ways, such as by celebrating more sustainable and ethical practices that are often not seen found in more profit-driven companies. Or, alternatively, they can be found in the transparency the business has with its customers. At a time when social media has become a low-cost and effective method of advertising for businesses, it has quickly become rife with customers rejecting and criticising disingenuous adverts, who would prefer, instead, to celebrate those businesses who are broadcasting their intentions and services without pretence.
Having a smaller budget is no excuse for cutting corners or compromising on the safety of your establishment and staff. It can be tempting to avoid certain good practices, such as a fire door survey, in the hopes of saving time and money, however, to do so, puts you and your business at risk, eventually costing you more. Undertaking these tasks early on is far easier and less costly than doing so when you are a more established business.
Having less experience with your new business will also make you more likely to experience incidents, which is why the measures preventing and minimising risks should be enacted from the very beginning.
While it may be appealing to think of yourself as an entrepreneur, there is a potentially detrimental element to overestimating your success. A common error made by many new independent business owners is overconfidence and underwork. A successful business is one who leans the other way. As a business owner, you should be leading the way, demonstrating to your team the standards that you expect. Not only will this keep the overhead costs of staffing to a minimum but, since it is your business, it should also be you at the helm.
Independent businesses have the community advantage, appealing to areas that want to embrace a unique offering, one that they can celebrate. A successful independent business embraces this, working closely with its target demographic and community to deliver the best product it can.
By working on this customer base, a good business will find both the regular custom it needs to begin its success and the feedback it can use to improve its operation. So, while it may be tempting to aim for a larger target, it is paramount to keep your feet on the ground and work with those around you in the beginning. By doing so, you will build up the support that will take you further.