Jo Haigh, guest contributor for Startacus writes an opinion piece on "building better businesses" and the critical success factors that should be considered...
"As many a small business is falling victim to the recession, building a better business must be on a lot of entrepreneur’s minds.
Having bought and sold over 300 businesses in the last 20 years, I would like to think I have some insight into what critical success factors should be considered.
I am certain that a large part of business success is as a result of the drive, ambition and personality of the entrepreneur. Identifying the drivers and harnessing their power is, in my experience, the difference between those that topple over the edge into oblivion and those that succeed and flourish.
Recently, I don't think that one driver has any more merit than another.
Different drivers appear to support different businesses both in terms of culture and longevity.
Those entrepreneurs, and their businesses, that are driven solely by money and financial reward will have a different look and feel to other companies where the key driver is social welfare or perhaps personal achievement of the principle. Neither is better or worse than the other, the key is that there is a driver.
Entrepreneurs may, of course, set and maintain their drivers but it is the staff that must implement them day by day, this is a critical success factor.
Therefore, without the right people in the business, and that’s generally across the board from management to shop floor, the businesses chances of success diminish.
The key with staff and cultural acceptance in a successful business must be honesty. If your culture encourages flexible time keeping and casual attire so be it but if your requirements are of a more formal and structured nature don't recruit people who are uncomfortable in such an environment and make these parameters clear from the start.
I would say that for many people, and naturally those new to joining the workplace, integrity is the new social capital (not least because financial capital is virtually non-existent!).
Clarity in these issues must be, therefore, fundamental in being successful."