How to make a successful business: the 9 steps to follow

Have you left your regular job and want to set up your own business? Are you thinking about how to make a successful business?

If the answer is yes, you are in the right place.

Companies invest a lot of money in relationships, training, and connections with customers and suppliers but without skills and the right strategy the road to success is uphill.

In this article, I will show you 9 practical tips that you absolutely must follow to learn how to make a successful business from scratch and in time realize a multi-million dollar business.

If you want to go deeper and become an expert in the online sale of products or services, discover the E-Commerce Specialist certification.

Characteristics of a successful business

If you are thinking about how to invest your hard-earned money and your dream is to become an entrepreneur and create a successful business, I have bad news for you: doing business is something that cannot be improvised.

characteristics of a successful company

In addition to learning how to create a successful business, you have to know how to sell, surround yourself with talent, have a good organization, be growth-oriented, and develop leadership, and above all, you will have to develop a smart business model, i.e. a business that uses data and technology to enable you to move in the market with more awareness and agility.

It is difficult but not impossible. And you can do it too! find out if starting your own business online is the right thing for you!

That said, let us now look in detail at the 9 steps on how to make a successful business.

Find the feasible business idea to start a winning company

Finding the right business idea is the first and most delicate step toward achieving one’s goals. Starting a business without the winning intuition would jeopardize the whole process.

Becoming an entrepreneur and opening a successful business takes time and it is essential not to be in a hurry. The idea must be concrete and realizable. Leave dreams aside and concentrate on ideas that are within your possibilities.

For each of them, it is necessary to make an in-depth analysis of the market trends in which they will operate.

A good starting point to reduce risks is to start a low-investment business with low running costs.

Low-investment activities

A business to be considered when wanting to open a successful business must have low start-up costs. If start-up costs are low it will probably be easier to return on the investment or if the investment fails, it will be easier for you to pick yourself up and try again with another activity.

No failure is a total failure. (Richard Branson)

Many investors believe that it is impossible to make big profits by investing a small amount of capital, but fortunately, this is not always the case. There are several low-cost businesses that you can start from home with little or no initial capital.

Thanks to technology, we live in years when everyone is in possession of opportunities that were unimaginable until recently, and setting up one’s own business online could prove to be the winning choice.

You will always have to find a feasible idea, build your reputation and develop great customer service but you will avoid those expenses that make a traditional business more risky.

Warehouse, inventory, and point of sale will only be a distant memory.

Although you do not need a lot of funds remember: before opening an online business you will have to acquire the necessary skills to learn how to run this type of business.

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Low running costs

We have seen how to start a business and reduce risks it is important to start with a low investment in relation to one’s possibilities, but this is not enough to achieve success and that is why it is important to have low running costs.

In fact, the goal of every entrepreneur is to generate profit. Profit is defined as turnover minus costs and taxes.

The more you manage to keep your running costs low, the more you will be able to cover and exceed your monthly expenses with your turnover.

For any traditional business to continue to function, it must take on rent, energy bills, employees, stock, and inventory. All essential monthly fixed expenses that if you can keep low, will allow your business to withstand market changes, grow and prosper.

Looking to the internet, with an online business you have the opportunity to create and run a successful company from anywhere in the world with low running costs, all you need is a PC and a good connection. ;-)

Advantages offered by the Web:

  • Unnecessary permanent employees

On platforms such as Fiverr, Freelancer, and Upwork you can find freelancers to whom you can entrust some technical work, such as graphics and design

In the first case, you can earn money by selling other people’s products and in return receive a commission on the sales you have generated. Dropshipping, on the other hand, allows you to sell a product without owning it and not having the ‘burden’ of inventory. Once you have made the sale, you will have to transmit the order to the supplier who will ship the product directly to the end buyer.

  • Internet promotional campaigns

A well-executed advertising idea and the choice of the right target group will guarantee your company high visibility at a lower cost.

The advantages of an online business are obvious, now it is up to you to find the feasible idea to start your own successful business.

Corporate strategic planning

What makes a company successful? Doing business and creating a millionaire company is not something you improvise and to be successful you need to know the rules of the game. Only 20% of businesses fail within the first year but 50% fail within the first five years.

From these simple numbers, you can understand how the basis of a successful company is about skills and a strategy that can make a difference.

The key elements of strategic business planning are:

  • Business Model
  • Business Plan
  • Planning business objectives

Let’s see them together.

Business Model & Business Plan

After you have found the winning idea, the next step you need to take is to create the Business Model, a document describing the logic by which your company creates, distributes and captures value for itself and its customers, followed by the business plan, which is necessary to verify the strengths and weaknesses of your project.

There is often a tendency to confuse these terms, so before going any further, let’s try to clarify.

The business model should answer who your customer is, what value you can provide them, and how you can do it at an acceptable cost.

A company creates value when:

  • Solves a problem
  • Fulfilling a wish

So in the Business Model, you group the strategic and organizational solutions through which your business gains a competitive advantage.

The Business Plan, on the other hand, is both a guide that contains and describes the business project with useful references for business planning and management, and that document to present to possible investors. The business plan gives you the opportunity to analyze the success factors of your idea in the long term and is divided into two parts:

The descriptive part is where the project is explained, with product and feature analysis, resources necessary, and the competitive market;

The numerical part in which the economic forecasts for the idea of business.

Within the Business Plan, there must be a specific section on Risk Management, or risk management, where all potential risks that may impact your business are mapped. Once the mapping is complete, the best strategies are defined to limit the impacts that these risks may have on your business.

business plan strategy

Planning business objectives: short, medium, and long term

Business goal planning is an activity that is often overlooked and an issue that is thought to only concern large companies. In reality, in order to properly learn how to create and run a successful business, even smaller companies should not underestimate the importance of goal planning.

Relying on chance and relying only on your own work is often not enough to create a successful and lasting business. Careful planning is the best way to steadily grow your business.

We live in a world where customers evolve and the market changes over time, so it becomes essential to develop a strategic plan aimed at achieving long-term goals, passing through intermediate and short-term targets.

Medium-and long-term objectives refer to goals to be achieved within a 3-5 year time frame, while short-term objectives are the results achievable in 12-18 months and allow improvements to be monitored and progress toward the final goals to be assessed.

Carefully following target planning will allow you to continue to be competitive in the market and have an advantage over your competitors.

Study the competition

Among the steps to be taken to create an effective business strategy and make a company successful is the study of the competition.

From a careful analysis, you can obtain valuable insights that through specific marketing actions will enable you to gain market share or create one that is not yet occupied.

The 3 steps for a proper study of competition are:

  • Identifying the market in which you operate and the products or services you offer
  • Selection of main competitors
  • Identification of their strengths and weaknesses

Starting with an online search, you should create a list of companies or professionals and collect as much useful information as possible: name of the business, the product or service they offer, strengths and weaknesses, type of customers, their presence in search engines, and paid searches.

To carry out these steps comprehensively, the web comes to our aid with tools such as SeoZoom, Google Alert, and Mention.

A further tip to get as complete a picture as possible of your competitors is to visit their websites and analyze their backlink strategies, internal links, and social channels.

Having done this analysis and then studied the market in which you are going to operate, two elements that should be present to facilitate the success of your business are low competition and high market demand. Let’s see together why!

Low competition

Are you, like me, an ice cream lover? Maybe not as maniacally as I am, but I am convinced that for many, a nice refreshing cone on hot summer days is something that is hard to give up.

Ice cream is one of those products for which there is a high demand, both in Italy and abroad, but just stop and think for a moment and you will immediately realize that this high demand for ice cream is matched by a multitude of ice cream parlors.

Have you thought about the competition you would face if you opened an ice cream parlor?

There are many ice cream parlors, and they don’t always bargain!

With this example, I do not want to say that opening an ice cream parlor is the wrong choice, but it served to make you realize that in order to open successful businesses in the world it is not enough that there is good demand, at the same time there must be low competition.

Try to identify unfulfilled market niches or satisfy questions better than your competitors do, the result might surprise you.

How to make a successful business with high market demand

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the low competition must be matched by high market demand.

Demand refers to the number of goods or services that people are willing to purchase.

The questions you have to ask yourself are: is what I sell really in demand? Does it satisfy a need? Does it solve a problem?

A company sells products that a certain number of people are willing to buy, but if no one needs your product, you don’t sell and you don’t make a profit. In this case, your enterprise will thus be doomed to failure.

If you are wondering what business to create, you can help yourself assess whether there is sufficient demand for your product or service by using Google tools, such as Google Trends and the Keyword Planner, to examine search volumes for keywords related to your business.

In addition, it might prove useful to do social listening through tools such as Talkwalker or Social Mention, i.e. ‘listening’ to what users on social networks think about a topic and conducting surveys of your potential customers through platforms such as SurveyMonkey or Google Forms.

By now it should be clear to you how competitor analysis is a time-consuming and complex activity, but one that, if done patiently and carefully, will make your company the benchmark in the market in which you operate.

Distinguish yourself from your competitors

Having identified the market you will enter and analyzed the competition, your primary goal will be to draw customers’ attention to you.

But how to start a successful business while attracting the attention of customers?

We are surrounded by a virtually unlimited supply of products, which makes it increasingly difficult for customers to choose their own over those of competitors.

It, therefore, becomes crucial to attract your potential audience and to distinguish yourself from your competitors through strong and long-lasting brand positioning that allows you to stick in people’s minds.

You will have to communicate who you are, your values, and your strengths (Unique Selling Proposition).

The more people have a good memory of you and associate positive emotions with your product or service, the higher the probability that people will choose your company over your competitors.

Unique Selling Proposition: what is it?

Among the characteristics of a successful company is the Unique Selling Proposition. It consists of proposing to the consumer a product or service with a very advantageous benefit to drive purchase that the competition cannot offer.

The USP lies at the heart of the theory developed in the 1940s by advertising executive Rosser Reeves, who aimed for his brands to be noticed among the numerous advertisements to which consumers were subjected.

Over the years, the USP has been criticized several times by those who claim that in the long run, it leads to unoriginal and repetitive advertising, but it is certain that a strong Unique Selling Proposition can help you retain customers and decrease the churn rate.

Dedicated to bureaucracy

OK, now you have come to perhaps the most tedious part you will have to deal with, but with the right amount of willpower and patience, it can be completed without any problems.

Today, no specific licenses are required to open a successful business and foster free competition, apart from some special activities.

First of all, you will have to define the type of activity, the sector you are in, and the company form. This is because depending on the type of company you want to open, the requirements and administrative procedures to be followed will be different.

Let’s see together how to set up a successful business and the bureaucratic process for a traditional business or service:

  • Open a VAT number
  • Register of companies
  • Communicate the acts to the Chamber of Commerce
  • Declare the start of the activity to your municipality
  • If you hire staff, open positions through INAIL and INSP

As mentioned earlier, the requirements and necessary procedures vary depending on the type of business you want to open, and some fulfilments are regulated on a regional or municipal basis. Therefore, to check all that is necessary and to carry out all the steps correctly, rely on a specialized accountant.

Find a specialized accountant

If you are wondering what the tasks of an accountant are, I can assure you that this professional figure plays a key role in following companies through the most delicate stages of their journey.

The accountant draws up the annual accounts, handles relations with the tax authorities, and manages social security and tax transactions.

It is therefore important to choose an accountant specialized in your field because he will be able to apply the regulations correctly and on time, saving you money, he will be able to make the right decisions quickly, he will be able to advise you appropriately, and he will be able to make you think about your choices in order to avoid future problems.

Furthermore, having entrusted the bureaucratic side to the accountant, it may be indispensable to protect your business against risks with company insurance.

How to create a successful company by securing and protecting your business

Companies are complex realities in which risks and unforeseen events can occur at any time. There is no sector that is immune to possible negative events. It, therefore, becomes important to choose insurance that protects your business, your employees, yourself, and your assets.

protect business through insurance

Every company is exposed to risks differently depending on its sector and working environment, so it is recommended to take out the right insurance policies.

Let’s look at the best insurance covers to evaluate:

  • Workers’ Compensation Liability (RCO)
  • Third-party liability (TPL)
  • Coverage for damage to building and/or contents
  • Product liability cover
  • Legal protection cover

In order to choose the best insurance cover for you, if your business is small or medium-sized, it may be sufficient to fill out a document to submit to the insurance company listing the company’s characteristics, whereas if it is a large company, an expert inspection may be necessary to identify in detail the possible risks to which you are exposed.

Create and distribute products

Now that you are clear about what you want to offer your customers and have gone through the bureaucratic process to start your company winning, dedicated to the creation and distribution of products.

First, you will have to contact suppliers to make the right supplies. It is essential to choose your suppliers carefully; don’t rely on the first one you find but think about every opportunity you have. Choose different suppliers, this will allow you to compare product prices and avoid running out of stock.

After the goods have been supplied or created, you will have to take care of the distribution of the product to the consumer.

There are two types of distribution channels:

  • Direct channel
  • Indirect channel

The direct channel refers to the transfer of a good from the producer to the final consumer without intermediaries.

Instead, we refer to an indirect channel when the passage of the product from the producer to the final customer occurs through intermediaries. In a short indirect channel, there is only one intermediary, and in a long one when there are several intermediaries.

Just as with physical products, you can use different strategies for digital products to deliver your product to the customer. You can sell directly through your website or, to facilitate accessibility, exploit a set of partners and intermediaries.

Devise an effective communication strategy

As we have seen before, the goal of a business is to generate profit, but how can you increase revenue and run a successful business? By communicating effectively.

Communication, particularly digital communication, is that process that allows you to share information with people, in our case to potential customers, to influence the perception of the product and to persuade the consumer of the usefulness and quality of what we sell.

To do this profitably, communicate clearly what you propose and the advantages of your offer, trying to stimulate the potential customer’s interest in you.

Distinguish yourself from your competitors by conveying value with unique and interesting content and offer a direct and personalized message tailored to the recipient.

Remember that your goal is to convince the person reading the message to take action.

But with what tools is it possible to achieve these goals?

How to make a successful business: tools and channels to use

In general, advertising refers to communication used by companies to generate consensus around their image and increase customers and visibility.

Typical communication channels include offline advertising, sponsoring, and public relations, but over the years have been complemented by innovative tools such as online advertising and social media.

Online advertising as opposed to traditional advertising methods is a marketing strategy that uses the Internet to deliver the right message and generate traffic to your website. So whereas with television or newspaper advertising you can reach many people, but many of them are disinterested in what you sell, with online advertising you can attract the attention of users who have shown a desire or need that you can satisfy with your product.

The main types of online advertising include:

  • Search engine listings: placed in the first positions of the search engine results page
  • Advertising banners: these can be images, videos, or interactive
  • Remarketing: useful to bring back to the corporate website users who had already visited the page but had interrupted their visit without making a purchase
  • Advertising on social networks

In recent years, social networks have been increasingly used by companies to promote themselves because by publishing a post it is possible to reach millions of users and at the same time, use segmentation, to show ads to people who have already visited the company page, who already like it or who do not yet know us.

About 35 million people in Italy use social networks and using them to advertise and increase brand awareness is definitely effective.

This has meant that competition is constantly increasing as well as advertising costs.

To avoid wasting time and budget, rely on Social Media Managers who can help you by building a tailor-made strategy for your company, thus avoiding unnecessary waste.

social networks increase brand awareness

Hire valuable personnel

If you have to recruit staff for your company, do not focus only on technical skills (hard skills) but also give importance to soft skills. Among the various notions on how to create a successful company from scratch, remember to hire people who are solid, valuable, and have excellent adaptability. Such personnel will be able to solve problems that arise without being intimidated by difficulties and will be able to bring to the company knowledge learned in other work contexts.

Create a good working environment

Hiring valuable people will help you create a good working environment that will enable you to create and run a successful business. Working in a relaxed and relaxed atmosphere is crucial for achieving your goals.

It is proven that the happier employees are, the more productive they are and the less likely they are to leave the workplace.

It seeks to build a network of trust in which everyone is free to express and confront themselves, thus stimulating teamwork and enhancing the qualities of each worker by celebrating achievements.

create a good working environment

Invest in employee training

A further factor for company growth is employee training. Consider training not as a cost, but as an investment in reacting to difficulties. Making investments in employee training will increase employee well-being and job satisfaction; it will also increase company productivity and enable your company to keep up with market changes and the technological advances that digitization is bringing. The key is to choose a good training course in this area, opting for a practical corporate web marketing course that provides employees with vertical and specific skills.

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A successful company invests in happiness

If you are wondering how to create a successful company, you must be aware that for the success of your business, the well-being of the managers and all employees plays a very important role.

It is now a fact that if employees are well and happy, the company grows more and better.

In the United States, programs that have led companies to invest in employee wellness and health have been in existence for a few years now, seeing three times as much growth as companies that have not done so.

In Italy, too, this reforming theme is attracting more and more businesses interested to welcome useful suggestions to improve the company and the quality of work, thereby increasing the company’s results and overall performance.

Until now, companies have focused on generating money and results but creating competition among employees as an end in itself and wasting energy that could be channeled into more useful activities.

In order to generate happiness at work, companies must make an effort to involve employees in important decisions, develop group projects, and value each employee’s opinion. This creates the conditions for good relations and a higher level of communication between the various company figures.

Successes and the achievement of shared goals can also be the stimulus for greater commitment and higher motivation to work, which will consequently generate higher employee productivity and more income for the company.

At a time when change is happening much faster, companies must abandon certain outdated organizational models and focus their energies on well-being and happiness, valuing employees and increasing performance and growth.

Evaluate results, correct mistakes and start again

Having reached this point, we are now at the last of the 9 steps described in this long article necessary to understand clearly and completely how to create a successful company.

In a business, it is not enough to do but also to analyze and measure what has been done.

In order to measure business performance, you will need to identify the correct KPIs to monitor, allowing you to spot any errors and understand where you can improve.

The acronym KPI stands for Key Performance Indicators, i.e. key performance indicators that are essential for analyzing the performance of certain activities. Generally speaking, the indicators must be useful for internal decision support, comprehensible to the entire corporate organization, comparable, and concise.

By equipping yourself with a business KPI system, you can make decisions and correct mistakes based on real data and numbers and not on instinct.

What does one have to study to be an entrepreneur?

So we have seen the different steps on how to create a successful company, but what does one need to study to be an entrepreneur?

Until a while ago, to be an entrepreneur it was enough to develop technical skills related to one’s industry, it was easier to find customers and it was easier to receive credit from banks.

In recent years, however, the scenario has changed dramatically.

In addition to technical skills, an entrepreneur must have the ability to:

  • Planning
  • Marketing
  • For sale
  • Organization
  • Data Analysis

There are many things you need to know how to do to become a successful entrepreneur and you have the opportunity to acquire all this knowledge by attending degree courses such as business management, management economics, or management engineering.

If, on the other hand, you do not have the opportunity to enroll in a degree course but would like to acquire the digital marketing skills needed to become a digital entrepreneur, you can take courses offered by Digital-Coach, Italy’s number 1 school for training new digital professionals. One of the courses offered is the online web analytics course, which will help you to develop and grow your business.

Become a successful entrepreneur by creating an online business from scratch!

The digital entrepreneur is among the professional figures created by the digital revolution in recent years.

Compared to the traditional entrepreneur, the digital entrepreneur is mainly concerned with managing online business and must be able to organize the company using web tools. If you want to become an E-Commerce expert, obtain the E-Commerce Specialist certification.

Now it’s your turn! If you follow all these 9 steps, you will really succeed in creating your own successful company even if you start from scratch and are not yet familiar with the world of web marketing. With commitment and lots of studies, you can achieve great things.

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