5 Things To Learn From Successful Companies

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Key Takeaways

5 Things most successful companies have in common, which you should implement in your own company to be successful.

  • Well-Defined Vision and Goal Setting
  • Customer-Focused
  • Outstanding Marketing
  • Adaptability 
  • Empowering The Team

These 5 factors are crucial to a business’ success, and without a doubt most big companies do implement them to a certain extent.

Big companies like Google and Amazon didn’t just succeed by chance. Big names like these manage to rise to the top and become the industry leaders that they are today because they have outperformed many of their competitors throughout their different development stages.

If you are an owner of a startup, it is unlikely that your company will be the next Apple or META, but you certainly wouldn’t want it to fade into oblivion like the countless companies that tried to rival these big names.  But what similarities do all industry behemoths have in common which allowed them to be as successful as they are today? In this article, we’ll delve into 5 things most successful companies have in common, which you should implement in your own company too.

#1: Well-Defined Vision and Goal Setting

This factor may seem intuitive at first glance, but it can be easy to undermine its importance. Apple and Microsoft didn’t become successful by keeping their intentions and purposes vague. No, instead their founders had a powerful vision for the company that they strongly believed in, which they then communicated to their team.

Ensuring that every last employee is well aligned on what the enduring purpose of the company is will allow the entire organization to be more committed to their tasks because they see value in what they do. Even mundane tasks such as sending out routine emails, doing cold outreaches, updating the Scrum board will make more sense to your employees if they can understand the big picture purpose of doing such tasks. This would very well translate into a higher level of productivity. 

When difficult decisions have to be made, ask yourselves, “does this help to propel my company further toward achieving its vision?” If the answer is yes, you’d know that that is a crucial action to be taken, regardless of how challenging it is.

#2: Customer-Focused

Needless to say, one of the most important groups of people in relation to your business is your customers, and all successful businesses know this. Being customer-focused means keeping the needs and wants of your target market at the forefront of your minds. In order to understand the needs of your customers, you have to put in the due diligence by cultivating a relationship with your leads, communicating with them, conducting surveys and collecting feedback, as well as tweaking your product or marketing strategy in relation to the input you receive.

After-all, thriving companies don’t become successful just by doing what they want to do – they know that growing a business ultimately comes down to providing what your market needs.

Another facet of being customer-focused is providing excellent customer service which can hone customer loyalty. Helping to train your employees to better interact with customers or resolve disputes can go a long way in building a solid reputation for your company and instils a level of trust. Following that, it is more likely that these satisfied and loyal customers would leave positive reviews – further bolstering your reputation.

#3:  Outstanding Marketing

Without visibility, your startup or company will have difficulty in market penetration in the first place. The importance of publicizing your company should never be underestimated and the most successful companies tend to spend the most on marketing as well.   For instance, Amazon and Microsoft are two of the biggest spenders on marketing, paying more than $100 billion a year.

If you own a startup, start small. Utilizing social media ads and pay-per-click advertising can go a long way in reaching out to your target market. Optimizing your website for search engines and building a strong social media presence would only help to further promote your product or service. Remember, without adequate marketing that shows how your company stands out from the competition, it wouldn’t matter how fantastic your product or service is if few people know about it. 

But just because you are spending a lot on marketing doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll automatically be successful – you have to have effective marketing. That means doing continuous research on your target audience and showing how your products and services meet their ever-changing needs so that you can keep up with your competitors as well. And to do that, you’d need adaptability, which brings us to our next point.

#4: Adaptability 

It wasn’t only the 2020 pandemic which was a black swan event that took businesses by surprise. Companies such as Microsoft and Apple had to survive a couple of other recessions and financial crises in the early 2000s. The main factor that allowed them to continue to be industry leaders is the ability to be flexible and open to changes. Being able to adapt to the ever-changing economic landscape and change in customer demand is one of the most core deal breakers as to how long a company survives. Fluctuation of customers’ tastes, rapid advancement of technology, an emergence of a strong competitor, or black swan events are unavoidable events – it really comes down to how quick your company responds to changes to make the best of the situation. 

Top companies are able to swiftly adapt to the situation which makes them stand out from the competition – it could be a modification of their products, a reevaluation of their customer demands or a change in the business model. 

Always endeavoring to cater to the customer is one necessary ingredient for success; being able to navigate change is another. 

#5: Empowering The Team

Assuming that you already have a unique product or service to offer the market and you are beginning to build a loyal customer base, your company wouldn’t see the success other industry leaders have without a motivated and capable team to fulfil your company’s mission. Employees who are motivated tend to be more productive as well – but how can you ensure they are motivated? It actually starts from the hiring process: checking that your company’s mission and values align with the potential employee could help ensure that these talents that you hire would stay longer in your company because intrinsically they feel that their work is meaningful.

One other way to make employees invested in the company’s progress is to issue Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOP). How ESOP works is that the employee is given an option to purchase their company’s stock at a low price and to make a profit, they would exercise the option and then sell the stock. Of course, this would only be profitable to them if the value of the company increases, which means they would have to work harder to ensure that the company thrives!

Looking at the industry leaders, Google issues Google Stock Units which work very similar to ESOPs – the stock units increase in value as the employee performs increasingly better. Amazon’s case is slightly different – they only issue stock ownership plans to tenured employees but likewise, it is incredibly effective in driving up their level of productivity as it comes as a form of incentive. 

Not to mention, ESOP and its variations are highly effective in retaining the biggest talents in your organization – since who wouldn’t want to be part of a thriving company whose stock is continuously increasing in valuation?

To sum it up, these 5 factors are crucial to a business’ success, and without a doubt most big companies do implement them to a certain extent. That being said, just because you have these 5 factors in place does not necessarily mean that your company will quickly be the next Google, but you’d be well on your way to watching your company flourish in the modern entrepreneurial landscape.