Obsessions Of Successful Businesses

There is a school of thought that almost one hundred per cent of businesses fail due to one main reason – the owner or management team. The highly successful have a fixation on three main things.

So this begs the question, “why do businesses fail?”

It is possible to hear a variety of reasons why the business has failed amongst conversations between friends in almost any pub in the country,e.g.the bank pulled the plug, the product wouldn’t sell, couldn’t keep the customers, a key customer refused to pay etc.

The real reason, however, is managerial incompetence – it is the management’s job to look after the above, no one else’s. It is common for many businesses to blame everyone else but themselves for the unfortunate situation.

Conversely, the majority of business successes tend to take full responsibility. They don’t use victim language to describe their predicament – they watch, they decide and they take action.

So what are the three things that successful businesses focus on?


This does not suggest that other factors are ignored such as finance and product, but rather that these fields are isolated whilst the business makes sure it is good at the other stuff.

Business strategy

This is being aware of the external environment whilst forming your own plans of where you want to go. Part of this strategy may be deemed as the decision of where you want to be in one year, or three years and hence what needs to be done now.

Strategy may be seen as opportunity cost in economic terms, or trade-offs – you must decide what you want and what the consequences of that decision may be. It is not always possible to go for conflicting goals.

Strategic thinking is not easy but the clearer you are about what you are trying to do, the easier it becomes. Focus and simplicity breed success.


A very misunderstood word in the business world; it is often misused, and given different meanings depending on the situation and our present mood.

Marketing may be deemed to be as seeing your business through customer’s eyes. What problem does your product or service solve? Why should people buy from you? What benefits are you offering that your competitor does not?

In some cases, marketing is the same as communication. Marketing is about the selection of how and what you communicate to whom – the ultimate purpose of course is to win more of the business that you want.

Teams and people

Most businesses have people problems. It is a fact that as a business grows there will be additional pressures – to get more business, to do more work of a higher grade and inevitably – the pressure of working together which produces conflicts.

The raison d’etre of beginning many businesses is to get away from the traditionally organised organisations, with the irony being that most businesses require the very order and structure that they were designed to escape.

Thus successful teamwork requires the ability to motivate, lead and communicate effectively.

Often, the business’s ultimate often seems to be about looking for the latest management fad and trying to use it to make the business better.

Good businesses focus on three basic things-teams and people, marketing, and strategy and planning. If these basics are not in place then the business will not be sustainable.

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