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What is commercial success?

By BBC Maestro

Every business owner wants their business to be successful. And in a world, that’s fast moving – where businesses need to be agile in the face of change – it can be challenging to obtain commercial success.

Every business owner wants their business to be successful. And in a world, that’s fast moving – where businesses need to be agile in the face of change – it can be challenging to obtain commercial success.

But what is commercial success? And how can you achieve it for your business? Read on to find out.

What is commercial success?

Commercial success describes a business’s ability to generate a profit using its resources. In other words, a business with commercial success is one that is making enough money to continue operating, innovating, and growing. There are some common attributes to businesses achieving commercial success. For example:

  • The business idea fills a gap in the market (it solves a common problem).
  • The business is futureproof (the idea and model will be able to adapt to the latest trends shaping the industry).
  • The business is built with the best resource (from investors and CEOs and all the way to junior staff).

It’s no secret that not having some of these are common reasons why businesses fail. Every business owner wants to better their business acumen and chase commercial success, so let’s take a look at some of the ways to achieve it.

3 tips for achieving commercial success

All businesses are different. But there are a few ways you can better your chances of building a business that is commercially successful.

1. Invest in good leadership

Whether you’re aiming to create commercial success for your own business or improve it in one that you work for, good leadership is a great place to start. Leaders – from the CEO level to the management level – can really set the tone for a company and drive it from failure to success or vice versa.

“If you’re going to be at the head of a company and build a team that shares your vision and passion for the business, and work to achieve your goals, you’re going to have to lead,” Peter Jones advises entrepreneurs in his online business course.

A good leader is hungry to build the best vision of the company possible. They’re positive, caring, motivating, and invested in doing right for the business and its people to achieve success. In turn, this can create a great workplace culture, where people feel valued and are more likely to strive for greater success too.

In Peter Jones’ BBC Maestro course, clinical psychologist Dr Hamira Riaz outlines 3 different types of leaders – the hero, the servant, and the host leader.

The hero leader

This leadership type was particularly popular 15-20 years ago according to clinical psychologist Dr Hamira Riaz. As a reference point, Luke Skywalker or Neo from the Matrix fit into this leadership style. They’ve been a dominant character in leadership literature for a long time. “It doesn’t suit everyone, and it doesn’t work over long periods of time, because businesses go through different periods and leaders go through ups and downs,” she says – sometimes these leaders can find it hard to sustain their heroic stance in times of turmoil.  

The servant leader

This leadership type works behind the scenes, there’s less ego and more of an emphasis on building and enabling a great team. They’re able to “create incredible culture, bring together incredible people, pushing them forwards towards the collective vision,” says Dr Hamira Riaz.

The host leader

Dr Hamira Riaz compares the host leader to “the host at a dinner party”. They’re “seeing what people like to eat, what they enjoy, what they like talking about”. This type of leader brings people in at the right time to leverage their strengths. They sit in the middle and make sure everyone gets the chance to be a leader.

When it comes to your business, reflect on what kind of leader/s your company may need. Each one above can bring its own benefits.

2. Create a realistic business plan and stick to it

“A business plan is your plan for success,” says Peter Jones. A good business plan can help guide your business in the right direction – providing the benchmarks and goals you need to hit to achieve commercial success. It can really help business leaders prioritise tasks and manage their approach to hitting targets more effectively. And on top of these, it can also help attract investment.

Your business plan needs to cover a few things. It needs to explain what the opportunity is that your business is capitalising on. Some business plan examples begin with an executive summary outlining the opportunity your business wants to focus on. Here you can briefly outline the problem at hand your business can fix, where it fits into the current market and some competitor analysis to establish how your business will win customers.

You need to give details about the financials of your business and how you plan to grow year on year. Work with your financial team to outline your financial forecasts and make these clear in your plans. It’s important to cover your revenue, expenses and costs, your net loss and net profit.

And of course, you need to outline your plan to achieve this growth. How will you execute your plan? Here you can touch on the strategies of your marketing and sales.

Finally, it’s worth outlining what resources you need to achieve your growth – whether that’s staff, equipment or new facilities – if you can supply evidence that it’s what you need to achieve your goals, it’s worth featuring in your business plan.

people having a business meeting

3. Obtain new customers and clients – and retain them

Expanding your client and customer base is another way to achieve commercial success.

If all goes as intended, new business brings more money. And new money brings more opportunities for growth. Obtaining new clients and customers is one task at hand but retaining them is another.

There are many ways to expand your customer and client base, depending on whether your business is product or service based. Here are a few:

Offer discounts and incentives to new customers

Introducing free trials or discounts is a low-risk way for customers to get a taste of your product or service.  Be sure to track which customers are redeeming your offers – that way you can encourage them to buy from you via targeted marketing.

Improve your website

In today’s world, consumers find new businesses online. This means that to compete with the countless businesses out there, your website needs to stand out.

In many cases, there is always something you can improve – whether it’s user experience (UX) or search engine optimisation (SEO) – ensuring that your website is up to scratch is important for new audiences to find and engage with your business in the digital realm.

Partner with businesses that may complement yours

Partnerships have long been a method of reaching new audiences for businesses. And today you will find start-ups and giant corporates announcing new partnerships all the time. A good prospective partner is a company that has a similar customer base to yours but is not a direct competitor. For example, a florist could team up with a homeware business that makes trendy vases or pots.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to running a successful business. And inevitably, there will be times when the journey feels a little rocky. But these tips should help keep you grounded throughout the storm.

Don’t forget you can always confide in a business mentor to help you create your vision. Ready to get started? Take a look at Peter Jones’ course on Toolkit for Business Success.

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