How to spot a successful business

Aside from profit, there are a number of features that a thriving business will have. If you’re considering purchasing one whether it’s a bar, a café or a childcare centre for sale, there are a few tell-tale indicators that you should keep an eye out for. Read below for the signs you should look for when you are trying to spot a successful business.

Prosperous businesses are not accidents. Even if there is a sense of a company striking it lucky with an ingenious product or opportunity, they well seldom remain so buoyant unless they’re managed properly and sufficiently plan for the future. A big part of this process is the ability to self-reflect and review current ways of doing things to foster a continuous cycle of improvement. This can refer to change as a response to an issue or situation, but can also include the willingness of a business to engage in proactive renewal.

An indicator of this is an ability to deal with failure. In reality, failures of varying degrees with be inevitable in business, but rather than simply trying to rectify an often innocent mistake, a well-run business will have the ability and framework in place to dissect ‘what went wrong.’ This need not be a hugely formal process, but at the least it should mean that the workplace is able to identify the conditions that lead to the failure and determine if there’s an area of incompetency that may need addressing.

A successful business will often has a strong online following and user friendly website. Some smaller businesses may not have the IT infrastructure that corporations enjoy, but in general you should still be able to find some mentions of them online in forums, reviews, or marketplaces such as Etsy, Ebay or other sales platforms. Simple things like spelling mistakes or clunky websites that don’t quite calibrate to all screen sizes may not indicate that a business is unsuccessful, but are a window into the ability of staff, or more importantly, the ability of the management who would ultimately sign off on public communications.

Of course, depending on the industry and also their location, thriving businesses may not have a website at all, and in this instance it can pay to do some word of mouth research or begin an online thread on a local community page or Facebook group for people’s opinions of a specific company.

A final way to get an indication of a business’s success is to refer to the basic principles of supply and demand. There is a degree of risk taking when predicting whether something will resonate with potential customers, but a company with a sound risk management plan in place should have ways to mitigate exposure. If a business is providing a niche product or service which the market does not sufficiently cater to, chances are that it’s a winner. However, the caveat on this is whether or not there is adequate demand for the item or service in question.

Image credit: PourquoiPas


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