8 Characteristics of Successful Small Businesses

Successful small businesses, though vastly different, all share certain qualities that set them apart from the rest. We’ve listed eight characteristics that play a part in the success of small businesses. So if you want to maximise your success make sure you take note of these in your business planning process.


1. Owners leading by example

Owners or managers who lead by example are usually the first to arrive, and the last to leave. These owners make their presence both visible and motivational. They know everyone by name, and show a strong commitment to both their business and their staff. These owners set the standard they expect from their employees.


After all, if they don’t work hard and take their role in the company seriously, how can they expect anyone else to do the same?



2. Simple business structure

They operate a simple and open business structure. This encourages an open and easy owner-employee relationship. This structure allows the contribution of each employee to be  highly visible and to add value to business operations. This opportunity would ordinarily be denied in a large hierarchical company.



3. Information sharing among employees

Successful small businesses allow the staff to receive information as soon as the owner does. Goals, problems and concerns are discussed openly. Feedback on issues is encouraged and staff are asked to contribute their own ideas for making improvements and overcoming difficulties.


It is often this aspect of open communication that staff appreciate the most. After all, this characteristic is fairly unique to small businesses.



4. Staff are carefully chosen

Staff are recruited very carefully because owner(s) recognise they are the lifeblood of any small business. Staff are hired based on how their knowledge, skills and abilities will be beneficial to the organisation rather than because of friendships or family relations.

Staff are not only carefully chosen but are nurtured and trained so that both the staff member and the organisation get the maximum benefit possible out of the relationship.




5. Staff commitment and loyalty

All members of the staff are very committed and loyal. Good performance is rewarded with praise, added responsibilities and money—while “poor performance” and “rewards” don’t even belong in the same sentence. Workers with consistent poor work performance are removed as they upset the rest of the team.


Organisations with staff showing optimum commitment and loyalty give businesses a competitive advantage that’s hard to copy or to beat.



6. A unique product or service

Most successful businesses have unique products or services such as their own designs, products, systems or some other aspect which sets them apart. This uniqueness puts these businesses in the limelight. The very same limelight that all other businesses work hard to sustain.




7. A specific customer focus

Successful small businesses have a specific focus on their customers and clients and are geared to supplying them with exactly what they want. This focus means adopting a market-led approach.


Owners and managers are consistently looking for ways to solve their customers’ problems and improve their products to match their customers’ requirements.



8. Prompt follow up

On occasions when an enquiry or complaint is received, successful small businesses actively follow up and solve them as quickly as possible. The results are promptly reported back to the customer. In the case of complaints, measures are put in place to reduce the possibility of similar problems occurring again.


Successful small businesses view complaints and problems as opportunities for growth and improvement in their businesses.



For a thorough health check on your business, access our “Business Plan Diagnostic.” You can also discuss your business operations and plans over coffee with an Omnis Group business adviser. Our friendly team of professionals are more than willing to turn your small business into a success story.