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10 principles of business success

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All great businesses start small. They become great based on certain vital principles that can be studied and mastered by business owners and entrepreneurs. Here are the 10 principles of business greatness:

1. Become a great leader. All business success begins with a great leader who has the vision and courage to imagine a new product, service or enterprise and then to pull together the people and resources to make it a reality.

2. Develop a successful business plan. Successful businesses develop and work from written business plans. They carefully analyze every detail in advance. They do not rely on luck or chance. They plan their work and then work their plan.

3. Offer a great product or service. The excellence, appropriateness and price of your product/service account for 90 percent of business success. This is the key focus of businesses that thrive and grow in any market.

4. Surround yourself with great people. The best businesses have the best people at every level. Your ability to attract, recruit, manage and motivate top people is the key to making your business successful.

5. Create a great marketing plan. Learn how to differentiate your product and service from competitors, attract more qualified prospects, emphasize your “unique selling proposition” and grow your market share faster than your competitors.

6. Generate great numbers. Select the key numbers that best measure the success of each part of your business — number of sales, size of sales, frequency of sales, profitability of sales, costs of sales, growth of sales — and focus continually on improving those numbers.

7. Staff your company with great managers. The best companies have the best managers. Learn how to interview, select, assign, manage and monitor the key people who make the day-to-day decisions that will determine the fate of your business.

8. Perfect a great sales process. Learn how to consistently convert prospects into customers. Select from and manage excellent salespeople at every level who can convince skeptical prospects to buy your product/service.

9. Create a great customer experience. Develop a customer service strategy that is so effective that people buy from you and tell their friends about you. Differentiate yourself from your competitors by taking better care of your customers than your competitor does.

10. Live a great life. Keep your life in balance by taking time for your family, physical fitness and personal activities. Set clear goals for each part of your life and then work on these goals. Nurture the person in charge of your success: you.

If your goal is to build a successful business, you can start with these 10 principles. One small change in any of these areas can completely transform your prospects for the future.

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Brian Tracy is the CEO of Brian Tracy International, which specializes in business training, and the author of the best-selling Psychology of Achievement. For more information, go to