Top Ten Reasons Small Businesses Succeed

Running a small business successfully is a daunting task. Statistics have shown that 90% of all new businesses fail within the first five years. How could you survive? Last week we offered the top ten reasons why small businesses fail. But because we're always optimistic here at Web-Est, we'd like to provide a top ten list of why small businesses succeed. Because while there are plenty of auto body shop businesses out there than aren't able to make it out successfully, there's a great number of shops out there that are incredibly successful. You should analyze your current small business to see if your business has all the criteria listed in here or not. If it doesn't, start re-organizing your business to make it a successful one.

1. Managerial Competency

The competency of the managers plays an important part in the success of any business. Expertise in the craft of auto repair, or any other skill for that matter, sets you apart from all the rest, but when you're in charge, it isn't enough. Managerial skills, people skills, leadership ability, attention to detail...all these things greatly influence the success of a business. It's the difference between having employees that love working for you versus those places where employees are looking for ways out.

2. The Determination of the Owner

Running a new small business is very tough at the beginning. During those tough times, it is the determination, resourcefulness and persistence of the owner that help make the business survive. Its almost a guarantee that tough times will come with your endeavors. How much do you want it? Are the sacrifices worth it? When the answer is "Yes" every time, then you're on the right path.

3. A Proper Marketing Strategy

Marketing means everything in business. Even if you have managed to create a wonderful service or product, your efforts will go in vain if you cannot manage to inform potential customers about your service or product. Spend time to design a detailed marketing plan to reach out to the right targeted customers. A great place to start is a website, learn some Internet marketing techniques, and do everything you can be viral, both online and offline.  Check our marketing blog to learn more about marketing techniques.  

4. Negotiation Skills

Everytime I speak with a shop manager, one of the first things they talk about is how the insurance companies try to get as much out of you as possible. An adjuster will come in, expecting a job to be done at half the hours and half the price. There's a number of different ways I hear shops approach this. Try to build a rapport with the adjusters that you deal so that there's more relationship behind the negotiation than straight business. With that, don't be afraid to push back a little. You don't need the insurance company to stay afloat. There's plenty of jobs out there that people will bring to your shop, looking for a better deal.

5. Building a Customer Base

For all businesses, it is important to develop a good relationship with your customers and turn them into loyal customers. Of course, this starts with marketing, but follow up and retention are incredibly important. Make accommodations for your customers. Make sure you pay attention to the quality of the customer support service and that your customers are happy with your products. Have a comfortable waiting area with coffee, offer discounts to return customers or referrals. Do what you can to make your customer realize that you value their business above all other things in what you do. Because its true: your best marketing asset is a satisfied customer. That's especially true in today's Internet age where customer reviews and viral social media is so prominent.

6. Building the Right Team

Don't just hire an employee for the sake of filling a position. Make sure your employees are part of a team striving to develop your business. Being able to do the job right shouldn't be the only qualification. Do as much due diligence on a person as you can. There's plenty of encounters that people have with employees that have stolen from them at some point. Avoid these situations by be diligent with the people you bring on board.

7. Leaving Your Comfort Zone

Never feel contented with your achievements. Always strive for better results and higher goals. You should be willing to try out new technology and marketing concepts and never assume that any strategy or technology is just not suitable for your business.

8. The Ability to Treat Employees, Partners, and Suppliers Respectfully and Fairly

This is very important. A good business owner should develop communication and management skills to better deal with people. A person who is adept at communication will have a higher chance of success than a person who is not.

9. A Great Attitude

Never feel pessimistic about the future of your business. You need a positive attitude to win in the harsh business environment. Not only do you have to be confident and optimistic, you also have to train your employees to have the same attitude.

10. Aim to Expand

If your auto body shop is having sustained, long term success, consider expanding to other parts of town. Try to grow out your business as much as you can by adding new locations.

Above are the top ten most important things that make a business a successful one. No matter how novice or experienced you are, make sure you memorize these factors and implement them whenever possible.

What are some techniques or experiences you've had with hiring new staff?  Please share!