My road to success hasn’t been a straightforward one. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and, like many people, I’ve had my fair share of trials and tribulations. Along the way, I learned that if you want to build a lasting and successful business, certain principles always apply.

There are three fundamentals that every business must have in place in order to succeed in any economic environment.

Sales and Marketing

Marketing is promotion, advertising, networking and lead generation for your business.

Sales is the daily focus of turning potential leads into customers and generating more business from prior or existing customers.

Customer Service

Customer service is the creation, production and fulfilment of your product or service to your customer. It also includes operations, logistics and administration.

Financial Management

Financial management is overseeing income, expenditures, profits and cash flow.

These three fundamentals of sales and marketing, customer service and financial management represent the three-legged stool that is your business. If you put your weight on the stool and one leg is broken or missing, there will be no stability and you will fall over. Even if all three legs are there, they must be strong and stable enough to withstand market changes, customer shifts or an economic downturn. They must support you when you need them most, not crack under pressure.

As a small business owner, it’s vital that you take the time to rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 on the strength of each leg of your stool. Most small business owners give themselves the highest mark for the customer service leg. This shows motivation, intent and a desire to help the customer, but it is actually a misguided focus. All three legs of the stool are vital, but not all are equally weighted. The big idea for small business is that the sales and marketing leg is ultimately five times more important to the success of your business than the other two legs.  Of course, great customer service is absolutely crucial – without it, you’ll go out of business! But a daily commitment to sales and marketing is the most vital ingredient to small-business success. An hour spent in this area is worth five hours spent on either of the other two categories.

To guarantee business success, always remember that customer service is your job. Sales and marketing is your business.

Join the 5 Circle Fit Challenge today and get your free e-copy of “Takin’ Care of Business: The Big Idea for Small Business.” Listen to the latest episode of The Brian Buffini Show to learn more.

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