Tuesday, May 4, 2010

10 Keys to Success for a Small Business

This week I am very proud to say that our small business reached its teenage years. Our business turned 13 years old on May 1st. I have to say I feel particularly proud this year, as the last few years have taken down businesses big and small. I have had several of my smart and savvy colleagues (Tamara O'Neill and Bob Littell) ask myself and my business partner, Barbara Hughes, "What are the keys to your success?" Wow, what a question. After we pondered for awhile, here is what we concluded:

1) Shared values-Although we are very different people we have a core set of values that are shared, like integrity, work ethic, financial philosophy, etc.

2) You can't be everything to everybody. We had to figure out what we were good at, what we had passion for and do that. Thank goodness people pay us for those things.

3) Razor focus on the customer-The customer is the center for everything we do.

4) Hire great employees-we have been fortunate to have REALLY smart people help us in our journey.

5) Form strategic alliances and partnerships. (see number 2). When customers ask us for things that aren't in our sweet spot we can refer them to our valued partners. (Omega HR Solutions, Phillip Blount and Associates, WOW Transformations and Evolution Management)

6) Always reinvest in the business-Your business can't thrive unless you keep investing and improving.

7) Over deliver-We strive to go beyond expectations with our customers. Sometimes it is the little things, like a personal one on one meeting, or an extra report, etc.

8) Never think small-We act like and think like a big business.

9) Our brand is very important to us. We make sure we think about our perception at all times.

10) WE HAVE FUN!!! Sounds corny but we do. It is crucial to laugh and love what you do.

I do have a few others, but I did say "10 Keys." Thanks to all our many valued supporters, clients, friends, employees and colleagues. It's been a great 13, looking forward to the next 13.

What makes your business successful? Tell me by commenting below!


Nettie Nitzberg said...

ICC is a great organization to partner with. We have enjoyed the collaboration and look forward to continuing our work with them as a strategic alliance. Nettie Nitzberg - WOW! transformations

Unknown said...

Thanks Nettie, we look forward to more cool projects with you as well. Good luck to you and your small business in 2010 and beyond!

Michael D. Haberman, SPHR said...

Great keys to success Cathy and you and Barbara are great examples of two people who live those rules of success. Congratulations.

Debbie King said...

Cathy and Barbara:

Congratulations! Haven't the years just flown by? I'm so pleased to have a personal and professional friendship with you. It's been a great experience to see us all grow as consultants, but also as entrepenurers! It's fabulous to be associated with creative individuals who live their values.

Best wishes for continued fun and success!

Unknown said...

Thanks Debbie and Mike. We sure do appreciate your friendship and support. Here is to more good years to come. (virtual glass raising)

Theo Jamison said...

Congratulations on reaching this significant milestone. I love your 10 keys to success, and will follow them as our small business is in its sixth year. We hope to enjoy the long-term success that you and Barbara have experienced. -- Warm Regards