The 4 pillars of building a successful business


Creating a business from scratch takes more than an idea and a fancy logo. Here are four things you need in place before you can find real success. Let’s find out more.

Building a business is hard. Building a successful business is even harder. Founder isn’t one job; it’s a collection of jobs, especially at the start. But even 18-hour days can’t prepare you for the unforeseen events the world will throw at you.

To craft a business that thrives, you need to get four pillars in place. Once they’re up and strong, you can build your tower higher.

Let’s find out what those all-important four pillars are.

1 — People

You can’t run a genuinely world-beating business on your own. You don’t have the time or the skills to do everything to the exceptionally high standard needed. You also will want to go on holiday now and again, and have the business still standing when you get back!

So, you need people — good ones, A-players. The success of a business depends on the talent and application of the people in it. Work out the calibre and skills of the people you need to bring into your organisation, in all departments, then, go out there and find them.

As you bring more people into your business, you’re going to need to develop two things:

  • A leadership style — the method you use to get the most from your employees
  • A culture — the character of your business, centred around your vision, values and mission

2 — Product

No business can last very long without a good product. If your product doesn’t do what you say it will, this socially-connected world will find you out faster than ever.

Your product (or service) needs to solve a problem that keeps your target customer up at night. When you solve that problem, it needs to make such a massive impact on their lives that they can’t live without it.

There is no set way to do this, but in general, the best products help customers:

  • Make money
  • Save money
  • Do something faster
  • Do something better
  • Do something easier

Sometimes it’s a combination of all five!

Get your product in place and assess its viability before you spend time and money on mass production, advertising, marketing etc. In the startup world, we call this your MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

3 — Process

What’s your plan to win?

You need to have a plan to build a successful business. You can’t just work on whatever you feel like working on, on that particular day. The more you plan, the better you’ll be.

The most successful businesses don’t just have a plan to grow. They have a process for every essential function in the company. When you have these detailed processes in place, it means that when people leave and join the company, they immediately know the steps to follow.

Your tech stack is there to help you streamline these processes, so you must put some serious thought into the tech you bring in. For example, your CRM is there to hold all your customer data, help your team communicate and look after your numbers. The result of all of this should be that you sell more.

Which leads us nicely on to…

4 — Sales

You didn’t think we’d forgotten about sales, did you?

Sales is an essential thing in any business. If you don’t make sales, you don’t have a business — not for long, anyway.

Sales bring money into the business, creating cash flow. It brings in customers which you can turn into raving fans through excellent service (remember, it’s easier to sell to someone who has already bought from you than someone who hasn’t).

As you start your business, make sales your absolute priority. It may be yourself knocking on doors and making cold calls at the start, but as soon as you can, get some sales professionals involved — you’ll notice the difference.

Over to you

Those are our four pillars of a successful business. Now, we want to know what you think.

What else do you need to build a company that lasts?

Share your tips with the Sales Confidence community by leaving a comment below.

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