Entrepreneur Magazine focused on those fast-growing businesses who seized the opportunity, found their niche and pushed the envelope.

Each of the companies gave their “success secret.”  I have gleaned these for review and possible implementation:

SUCCESS SECRETS:

  • Develop a core competency  and stick to it.
  • Don’t do it all yourself.  Use the advice of others.
  • Surround yourself with incredibly talented individuals, provide a culture where they can showcase their talents and grow.
  • Hire the best possible person for the job.
  • Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
  • Make decisions based on experience and instinct.
  • Focus on those around you.  When the success of others becomes a priority, success will follow.
  • Spend as much time and resources on customer relations and service as possible.
  • Hire for attitude, and train for skill
  • You’re only as good as the people who work with you
  • Hire people who possess a tremendous work ethic and great attitude.  Train them, provide the with the best tools and processes to succeed, motivate them, and watch them perform.
  • Hard work, commitment to excellence, incredible employees sharing the same commitment to excellence
  • Surround yourself with talented people, and do not run out of cash
  • Don’t fail to plan. Planning should be the core focus on a daily basis.
  • Build the business on the premise that our “assets” drive home every night and provide a work environment that encourages them to return the next day, motivated and excited to be part of the team
  • Focus on where the puck is going and not where it is.
  • To give back to our society for the blessings we have received
  • Identify a specific customer base; determine the immediate needs of that base; set defined, measurable goals to meet those needs; communicate the goals to employees
  • Passion! If you care, you’ll do your very best
  • Work hard. Don’t be afraid to take chances
  • Celebrate the victories, learn from past failures, always remain customer focused
  • Put the customer first. Reminding the team they work for the customer.
  • Get close to customers and build relationships.
  • Allow the customer to tell when their needs have changed
  • Once the vision has been validated, don’t allow others to distract.  Stay focused, realize the vision. Keep plowing away
  • Have the courage to take action when it is needed.
  • Always surround yourself with people smarter than you.
  • Recognize that cash is king.  In the early life of any business, cash flow is the most important thing.  It allows the business to survive and fix any problems along the way.
  • Offer better products or services that the competition.
  • Be accountable.  Always hold yourself and employees to a higher standard of service.
  • Listen
  • Deliver high-quality along with affordable prices
  • Stand out from the pack. Create points of difference from competition.  Don’t do what everyone else does.
  • Do not accept the status quo.
  • Continually build on core competencies, and make every effort to identify natural extensions of the business.
  • Never become complacent
  • Promote the most competent
  • Invest heavily in technological competence to provide a balance of customer-relationship management and technologically advanced service offerings
  • Value customers and employees.  Treat them with a great deal of respect, or someone else will
  • Identify and take advantage of weaknesses in the competition. Use them as an opportunity to provide more value and better customer service.
  • Continually add significant and differentiating value.
  • Never doubt your company’s ability to be successful
  • Employ only the best of the best
  • Never allow greed to dictate decisions
  • Develop an endless referral network
  • Deploy the “customer-for-life philosophy
  • Sam Walton: There is only one boss: the customer.  And he can fire everybody in the company, from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else>
  • Start with a solid business philosophy, strategy and plan. Then deliver it with perfection.
  • Focus on what you know how to do, and be the best at it.
  • Focus on the core business. Don’t try to be everything to everyone
  • Allow employees to do their jobs
  • Stay humble, never believe you’re the best, otherwise somebody will beat you.
  • Recognize that nothing comes easily.  You have to take risks and work twice as hard to get what you want
  • Think BIG! The only limits to success are those you place on yourself or the business.
  • Set high standards and you will grow into your expectations.
  • Raise enough cash to think big but never allow any one shareholder, including you, gain enough control to determine the outcome
  • Understand clearly that you will always miss 100% of the shots you never take
  • Do not lose control of the business regardless how much you grow
  • Understand that great opportunities can be missed when you believe you know everything
  • Don’t look back.  Look ahead at the opportunities down the road, and spend less time agonizing over yesterday’s wrong turns.
  • Always answer the phone properly
  • Believe in yourself, and listen to your gut.  Be proactive in all aspects of your business, but give employees latitude to make an impact
  • Be the leader, not the follower.  Understand your niche in the marketplace better than your competitors
  • Make company culture a strategic goal.  Find a voice for all employees, and build a team culture that empowers employees to thrive
  • Exceed your customer’s expectations
  • Always respond quickly to the market and its demands—don’t argue with it