What I have learnt is that all businesses should at least have these two elements. If you have nothing else going for you make sure you have these and you will stand half a chance, the rest can be built on this foundation.
1) Good Organisation Health
You have to have a good culture in your business. The organisation needs to be a healthy cooperative place where people enjoy working. To do this you need to get rid of the bad apples. They are like a cancer that will spread through your business and destroy it from the inside. Think about where you work, do you have anyone that you and the organisation put up with because of how long they’ve been there or because people think they are indispensable? You probably do, and the best thing for the organisation is to kick them to the curb. Through all levels of the company you must be able to communicate effectively and everyone should be able, willing and offering to help each other out. You have to have people that are ‘bought in’ to the way the company operates and are on the same wavelength as the leader or leaders.
2) Good Strategy
You need to understand what you are trying to achieve and how you are going to do that. This is the company’s strategy. But you have to think about another questions first. This is something that I don’t think a lot of businesses consider.
Who are we?
You need to consider what the identity of your company is. What makes you different from your competitors? Once you understand where you have comes from and what makes you tick, you can them move on to where you want to go. An overall vision should be developed. A kind of grand statement about where you want to position yourself in your market. Something that everyone can strive to achieve. From here you can develop more specific objectives that will guide you on your way to achieving that vision. The final steps are communicating this strategy to the entire organisation, reviewing your progress at regular intervals and tweaking the details as necessary.
With these two items under control you will have a solid foundation to develop and implement the myriad of other elements for success.