The key success factors of every business make it easier to achieve more with less input. When a business identifies set objectives and allocates resources in its key areas of success, it gains more.
Key success factors are the elements that produce the peak output in attaining business objectives. They differ for different businesses. Magnum Ice cream, one of the world’s most successful brands, has flavour combinations and fancy packaging as some of its key success factors. On the other hand, FedEx, a leading global courier service company, has speed, innovation and global expansion as its key success factors. Therefore, these two companies will always consider the key success factors in setting their strategic objectives to stay profitable.
Even though they vary for various industries, the key success factors spread across six categories from which every business can identify its own and work with. We shall examine them here.
Category One: Money
The handling of financial resources, in most businesses, determines business success or failure. Poor capital structure and inadequate working capital can make it hard to meet customers’ needs and lead to business failure. When a business satisfies customers’ needs consistently using a particular financial strategy, it has a key success factor in that strategy.
If a business meets its' customers' needs without borrowing, and it suddenly takes a bank loan to diversify into an area where the manager has no expertise, it is prone to failure. Because, lack of competence and interest expense could lead to poor management, funding crisis and business collapse.
Warren Buffet, apart from his other qualities as a successful investor, is very thrifty. That is a key success factor for his business concerning money handling.
Category Two: Owner
The business succeeds in satisfying customers’ needs as much as the owner has the capacity and skills to do so. Business achievement mostly depends on the ability of the owner or manager to set the right objectives, select the right products or services that match customers’ needs and staying committed as much as necessary to sell at a reasonable profit. Therefore, if doing these let the business meet the customers’ preferences profitably, then they could form parts of its key success factors.
Over half of the world trades go to the Fortune Global 500 companies, owned and/or managed by people who have in-depth knowledge of their products and industries. Jack Ma of Alibaba Group, Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google, Lei Jun of Xiaomi Group, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and others are business savvy, knowledgeable and committed in their chosen trades.
Thus, the skill and commitment of the owner or manager of a business, if driven by customers’ needs, are key success factors.
Category Three: Products and Services
Products and services attributes possess the strongest attracting force to the customers who their needs, may pay for products and services because of pricing, packaging, quality, ease of use, fulfilment of need and after-sales services. Whatever features or features meet the customers’ needs consistently and make them keep buying the products are key success factors for the business.
Apple iPhone key success factors include high quality, innovative design and after-sales software upgrade services.
Therefore, one or more product features can form key success factors in some industries depending on the customers’ preferences.
Category Four: Marketing and Sales
Marketing and sales strategies exist for different products and services. The business has to adopt strategies that suit customers’ needs and expectations because that is what will drive sales and form the key success factor for the business.
An ice cream company scans its market, and the result shows that the bulk of the customers are low-income earners who want low prices and reside in the most densely populated area of the country without vehicle access. The business can locate its shops at different points within the settlement for easy access to the products. That will be one of its key success factors.
The customers determine the key success factors upon which the business selects its marketing and sales plans.
Category Five: Systems and processes
The business can repeatedly create goods and services of customers' prefered standards because it uses specialized systems and processes. Thus, the customers’ choice dictates the kinds of systems and processed or production technology the business will adopt.
Today, due to rapid changes in customers’ tastes, many companies also change their production technologies to match customers’ needs. In the Information Technology sector, customers’ were contented with limited computer storage capacity a few years back, but today they do not have the patience. Hence, businesses in the industry have to change from floppy storage disk to more advanced storage means like expanded internal storage in tetra bites, external devices, such as MicroSD cards and USB, external hard drives in tetra bites and several more.
Therefore, a business will only keep using technology for producing goods for the customers so long as their tastes have not dictated otherwise. Because whatever production technology makes it possible t\o meet customers’ needs satisfactorily defines the key success factor in the business system and process.
Category Six: Employee
The people who work in the business make everything come together successfully through their competencies and capabilities. The business can meet customers’ needs profitably if the employees work with its objectives and external regulations. These can define key success factors.
Successful businesses know that their human asset is vital to meeting the customers’ needs, so they motivate them with financial and non-financial rewards to keep them working for the business success.
The employees' unique contributions, using their abilities and skills, which makes it possible to satisfy the customers, are parts of the business key success factors.
The key success factors are the elements that let the business achieve superior results by fulfilling customers’ needs. The business key success factors should be in line with the customers’ needs and expectations.
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