How Does Your Business Stack Up? 9 Key Elements To Small Business Success

The results are in - and the 2013 State of The Business Owner (SOBO) Report is live. We wanted to share one of the report's key findings. Here's a preview of the "The Ownership Stack" - a powerful set of best practices successful business owners are using to grow their business in today's rapidly changing economy. Business owners who followed these best practices had 59.4% greater odds of hitting their profit targets.

Here they are:

1.  A Written Vision for what the business will look like, act like, feel like and perform like when it's treating customers how you want it to, every time.

2.  A Clear Set of Values that come from your heart, and inspire a team of people who share your priorities and won't fight you on the definition of great work.

3.  A deep understanding of your Ideal Customer, so you're spending those precious marketing dollars speaking to their needs, and not wasting energy trying to reach everyone.

4.  Position Agreements for your employees - think of them as Job Descriptions 3.0 - that are focused on results and values, not tasks and policies.

5.  A Revenue Plan that is both realistic and stretches you - so you stay in control while you have something for you and your team to reach for.

6.  A Marketing Plan that isn't scattershot, but rather is designed to meet your ideal customer where they are with what they need.

7.  A Repeat Sales Plan driven by powerful customer experiences.

8.  Visibility into how you're doing through a system for Tracking Your Marketing efforts, so you have actionable data to maximize your impact.

9.  A simple dashboard of Key Business Indicators to track your progress towards your vision, so you can course correct in real time.

You don't have to get all these elements perfect. And you can't do it in a day - these are "roll up your sleeves" pieces of work that we've been coaching clients on for 35 years. But just imagine - what if you had one by the end of June? And another by the end of July? Image how different your business will look in nine months.

Jonathan Raymond

Written by Jonathan Raymond

Jonathan is our Chief Brand Officer. He writes on a wide range of topics including leadership and company culture, and leads our marketing team.

See all of Jonathan's posts, and follow Jonathan: