What Makes A Business Successful?

So I’ve seen all the successful businesses and companies. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Myspace. I’ve read all their biographies. And I’ve had my own online business ventures; some successful, and some unsuccessful. So I’ve been wondering and trying to sum up my experience; what makes a startup business successful? Well, thinking about this has used up a hell lot of my brain cells, so here you go.

A great idea. This is a no brainer. You business idea has to be something special. Either you have a new idea (or product) that no one has either done before, or you have a great idea on how to improve things that already exist. If you’re just trying to copy an already existing business idea, and not add any things that differentiate you from your competitors, then good luck. I hope your business doesn’t die.

A great team. So I had a website where people can read books for free online. So here’s what happened. At first, I was working on this project alone. Then I realised, that I needed a partner. The more online versions of books I get, the faster the website will attract new users. That was my synergy plan. Unfortunately (my mistake), I made a wrong decision in choosing a partner. Instead of the synergy I was expecting (2+2=5), I go something equivalent to 2+2=3. This just comes to show that working with a bad team or partner can have a serious drag on your business’ performance. Remember, a good partner is 10 times as valuable as a bad one.

The right timing. Maybe your idea is too outdated. Or maybe it’s way ahead of the curve. In either cases, your timing has to be perfect. Your business’ idea has to be just a little ahead of the curve, so that customers love your new stuff, but it isn’t way ahead of their mentality that it becomes hard to accept. So how do you know if your idea is outdated or too advanced? Luck buddy. Pray to God.

Startup capital. Some people say that internet business (or even brick and mortar businesses) don’t need startup capital to succeed. Well I’m gonna debunk this myth. They’re wrong. Let’s put it this way. My read books online website was a great idea. I got some reviews, and users absolutely loved it. But for some reason, it didn’t get off the ground. I was wondering why. Don’t people say that in the internet industry, one can build an empire on little capital? Then I realised that they were wrong. Many successful internet companies that had an amazing idea still had a large capital base. They would use that capital to ADVERTISE, and then their success would come. Once I fixed this problem, my website became a high flyer.

Last but not least, let me put in my own 2 and a half cents. I think business (and life in general) is a lottery. You know how Einstein said some thing like “success is 99% hard work, and 1% luck?” Well I think he’s wrong. Life is a lottery. The harder you work, the more lottery tickets you get. But, luck is important. Without luck, it doesn’t matter how many lottery tickets you have.