From Startup To Successful: Building A Profitable Business In A Competitive Industry

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Six tips for establishing revenue for your business success. By Barbara Grant (Founder & President, Retrofit Pilates)

Being a successful entrepreneur takes more than just talent.

These days, the key to a business’ profitability is based on a number of factors, many of which, though obvious, are often overlooked by those starting out. With a precarious economy and less dollars available from consumers, potential customers and suppliers, small business owners need to be even more strategic than ever in order to build their business into a profitable and viable enterprise.

Following are six key strategies that entrepreneurs can employ that will result in the realization of consistent revenue and ongoing success.

1.) Know Your Market

A key to success is knowing your audience. How many companies do the due diligence required to really provide the product or service that their core demographic wants or needs? Knowing what that particular item or items are is only possible after one has studied every facet of the target group’s behavior. Before embarking on your company launch, be sure to research and understand your demographic. This includes having the answers to who are they, what they want, where they shop, how they vote, how they feel about certain topics and more.

If necessary, employ third-party research support in order to gather this information. In doing so, you will put yourself one step closer to being ahead of your competitors.

2.) Differentiate Your Business

What makes you or your product different? What is your value proposition? How do you differ from your competitors? Can you answer these questions? As difficult as it may be, all of these questions should be asked and answered before embarking on your business planning.

In a glutted market, even the previously-designated niche categories are now filling up with highly motivated and aggressive competitors, so not having that added specialty or product be the difference between being in the red or being in the black. Think long and hard about how you can add value and make your company stand out among the crowds of competitors. The answer doesn’t necessarily have to equate with large financial investments; it does have to meet a need. Go back to the first point – knowing your market – and provide a solution to a problem that your potential customer may have. Once you’ve done that, kick it up a notch and watch your business take off.

3.) Take Risks – Fearlessness.

This is one of the defining traits of successful entrepreneurs. Those who embark on the journey that fails more often than not must have the strength of their convictions to keep going when things don’t seem to be working out as planned. Risky behavior – this is part and parcel of making the leap to becoming an owner of a business that thrives, because the reality is that many companies that start out with so much promise, sadly do not flourish.

Be prepared to put your convictions about your business on the line and to make decisions that, though risky, will pay off for you in the long run. Remember: some of the most successful businesses today were founded by those who were not afraid to put everything on the line for something in which they believed.

4.) Budget and Finances.

No discussion about a business success can be done without covering the topic of finances.

Whether your company is funded by investors, or is a result of hard-earned savings and borrowed funds, the importance of keeping abreast of the financial goings-on of the business cannot be stressed. First and foremost, engage a trusted and skilled financial advisor as the starting point in your financial dealings. An accountant or similar professional can support you with details about what you will need to know and do to make the most effective use of your funds. As well, having a professional apprise you of the various tax and related rules that are expected is invaluable.

As well as an accountant, consider an additional support, whether it is a financial advisor through your bank or similar. The goal is to have another set of eyes looking out for your financial interests as well as advising you about the best decisions regarding your money and business.

5.) Create a Sweet Spot for your business.

Some of the most successful businesses are those that answer a need that was otherwise unaddressed. If you’re a food purveyor, or restaurant, consider providing a specialty food or dish.

If your company provides a product or service, go back to your research and determine where there is opportunity to fill a void or niche in the marketplace. Similar to having a differentiating value proposition, this advice goes one step beyond and addresses the opportunity that lies within the gaps that exists in your area of business.

If it doesn’t exist, create it. You’ll be seen as a leader and the go-to expert in your area of business – which is one of the primary goals of most entrepreneurs.

6.) Stay Focused – Keep your eye on the prize.

You can’t be all things to all people, so don’t even try. Do what you know best and hone your skills and business to the point where you are the best in your field. As difficult as it may be, try not to get distracted or else you will dilute your message and lose sight of your original goal.

Surround yourself with like-minded people who can provide the external support as well as information related to your business and work with your team to build your company to the level that you know you are capable of achieving.

Editor's note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below. About the guest blogger: Barbara Grant is the Founder and President of Retrofit Pilates, a full-service Pilates and fitness studio in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A professionally-trained, seasoned fitness instructor with a wealth of knowledge and experience in advanced Pilates, Yoga, strength training, professional dance and more, Barbara has over 20 plus years of first-hand work in helping clients achieve mind-body wellness and overall health, stress relief and more.