Innovative Company regularly features growing, influential firms. Family start-ups, small companies, even large corporations – regardless of the type of company, their products, and services or industry sectors – to one degree or another, they’ve all had success.
But what is the definition of “success?” Ask ten different companies, and you might get ten different responses. Despite a broad range of outcomes, we’ve noticed a few constants in the formula for success. Tenacity. Hard work. Unwavering self-confidence. And the ability to weather the often difficult, ever-changing, always competitive marketplace.
We asked companies from across the United States about their particular road to success. The answers were as varied as the types of businesses that responded. However, all of their unique stories contain similar anecdotes, challenges and leadership traits necessary to create a blueprint for business success.
Thanks to all the companies who offered their insight. Here are some of the best responses we received:
For online marketing firm Mavens and Moguls, navigating the post-9/11 marketing budget cuts posed serious challenges. For company founder & CEO Paige Arnof-Fenn, great advertising campaigns also required a certain amount of grit and determination. “I knew great marketing talent that had recently gotten downsized post 9/11 so I pulled together a group calling the women (marketing mavens) and the guys (marketing moguls). Here we are 16 years later, still going strong!”
Background checks always demand a certain level of privacy and professionalism – and in today’s online marketplace, those demands are greater than ever. Ross Cohen, COO of BeenVerified.com, turned this challenge into an opportunity. Mr. Cohen’s company offers verified information to small companies and individuals – essentially, BeenVerified.com opened up doors that were previously closed to all expect deep-pocketed businesses and organizations. The old mantra, “give the customers what they want,” has certainly served Mr. Cohen’s company well!
Since business challenges often arise from unexpected places, the ability to quickly adapt and adjust is critical. For www.BulbHead.com founder AJ Khubani, this meant keeping on top of patent infringements and other legal aspects of the business; Mr. Khubani also fostered a “roll up the sleeves” attitude to work with at-home inventors and entrepreneurs. For Christine King of YourBestFit, business challenges began before her company was founded – she started her fitness company after being paralyzed in a jet-ski accident! YourBestFit’s niche market – the firm provides health-oriented solutions (fitness plans, management, mentoring, etc.) for corporations, luxury communities and more – offers unique hurdles, but Ms. King’s overcome-all-odds attitude has been the difference and YourBestFit continues to thrive more than twenty years later!
Keeping on top of current social trends and issues can also pave the way toward success. For Kari Warberg Block, founder and CEO of EarthKind®, an environment-first approach helped her pest prevention enterprise experience phenomenal growth. And greater collaboration was also essential: “My business really took off when I learned to be more strategic and changed how I used my work time. I started sharing responsibility and now I no longer make all the decisions. I’ve trained and empowered my employees to use my framework to make decisions, asking themselves if it’s lean, mean and green. I also hire many consultants to get specialized expertise, whether in sales, marketing, research and development, or finance,” said Ms. Warberg Block.
David Waring, Co-Founder of FitSmallBusiness, concentrated his resources in the right way during his company’s early days of growth. In order to attract more visitors to his site, Mr. Waring focused on one particular channel – positive search results on Google – to drive his firm’s vision. Money quote from Mr. Waring: “Some people might say that we put all our eggs into one basket, but I say if you only have one egg, you have to choose a basket.”
Individually, each piece of advice is useful for any young entrepreneur. Collectively, these replies create a “how to” manual for business success. Finding out how to incorporate these responses will help your own firm exceed expectations, improve bottom-line revenue and ultimately lead to “success” – however you define the term!
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