I write and think a lot about the software business. I am passionate about this industry segment and find it very interesting and self-fulfilling. Over the last 12 years I have learned a lot about the business and I have experienced many successes and failures. I measure success in business in 2 ways: profit and growth. Below are the top 5 characteristics I’ve seen in software businesses that bolster increasing profits and growth. I try to employ these characteristics or principles in my business everyday and I am sure I still need more practice on some (or all) of these.
- Continuous Commitment– This to me is by far the most important principle. The most difficult thing to do is to work and move ahead when times are difficult. It is easy to get things done (or write a blog post) when everything is going well. The real challenge for businesses or entrepreneurs are when times are not ideal. For example, I sometimes find it difficult to start my day because I did not sleep well. I have 2 kids and I can tell you that while they are my world they can be exhausting. In the theatrical world there is a saying that goes: “the show must go on”, which means that actors must perform at a high level on stage regardless of how they feel emotionally. In my opinion, it’s the same in business. There is a commitment to perform at a high level with your clients or customers on a daily basis. If you demonstrate this continuous commitment to excellence I guarantee it will propel company profits and growth.
- Passion for work– This characteristic is the most evident or obvious to people when a working relationship is initiated. Clients can tell if you love what you do. When there is passion for work it permeates and flourishes in every facet of the company. Moreover, people want to be around a business that has a passion for the work they create. Think about it, when you work with people who are passionate about their work, they genuinely care about you and your needs. This type of scenario for a business leads to customer satisfaction, which inevitably creates more profit and growth.
- Monetary Awareness– This is a principle to be mindful of in both business and personal life. To me monetary awareness is the practice of intentionally thinking through purchases or spending habits. This type of awareness may not lead to profits directly but can serve as a guard rail to ensure financial stability. If the business is spending money irresponsibly then the company will fail due to cash flow, etc. Ultimately, this has a direct impact on the bottom line and future of the company.
- Eagerness for Learning– I wrote an article about the importance of “Tinkering” a couple of weeks ago. It is imperative that we never stop learning or “playing around” with new concepts in our respective industry. When we are constantly seeking out knowledge we become more creative and formulate new and interesting ideas. Simply stated, knowledge is power. We’ve heard that saying a thousand times. The more you acquire the more it can influence your products and other vertical opportunities.
- Take Action– Plain and simple some people never take action. There are a lot of people that over analyze next steps and get caught in a “paralysis by analysis” scenario. Having said this, there is a difference between taking action and being in motion. A person in motion is someone who is always busy but never produces results. Motion in this case is not calculated action and is doing something just to stay busy. In other words, nonsense work. Taking action is thoughtful and calculated. It is well thought out and time limited. Once you are content with a decision and your gut is in accordance the action is taken. In my opinion, it is better to make a decision and fail then to not initiate an action at all or be in a motion loop.
In summary, these 5 characteristics are critical to business success in my opinion. There are clearly more principles, traits, concepts, etc that go into what makes a business click but I personally feel that these have been the most important in my experience. I hope that this has helped someone who is trying to incorporate a better culture or business experience for their clients or employees. 🙂