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Three keys to business longevity


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According to the 2013 Colorado Innovation Index report from the Colorado Innovation Network, as a hotbed for small business, Colorado sees more startups than most states, but also sees a larger percentage of small businesses fail than the U.S. as a whole. While hard work and tenacity are important in maintaining a business, there are some key factors that contribute largely to a business’ long-term success. Celebrating being a staple in the Colorado business community for 75 years, Mountain States Employers Council (MSEC) offers the following tips on business longevity:

Adapt to change

In a rapidly evolving world where technology is continually impacting how businesses operate, one of the greatest challenges in maintaining a business is adapting and embracing change. Changes in regulations, like healthcare and wage mandates, also provide new challenges for businesses across all industries.

Attending business briefings, like the annual sessions offered by MSEC or reviewing surveys on industry trends, can help businesses with annual planning, evaluating current practices as they relate to other local businesses and accessing the ramifications new laws can have on a company.

Listen to your stakeholders

Like many aspects of running a business, maintaining excellent service for company stakeholders is an ongoing process throughout the lifespan of a company. Effective stakeholder service starts at the top, with executives that take notice and are genuinely interested in understanding their needs.

There are several ways to maintain customer service, the most simple of which can be done by listening to stakeholders through surveys, social media and daily interactions. Implementing training and education programs for employees so they are able to confidently answer questions and recommend the best products or services is another step that can be taken to improve customer service.

Build a great company culture

The culture of a company lays the foundation for how a business will operate in both good times and in bad. A business that has been around for any length of time has seen its share of ups and downs. Priorities, executives and employees change, but the companies that succeed are those that demonstrate a commitment to maintaining their mission, vision and values.

Company culture starts with leadership. Executives and leaders need to be representative of the mission, vision and values that the company embodies.

Communicating company expectations and helping employees draw a direct connection to not only how they can help directly impact business goals, but how they can advance the culture are just a couple of ways to start building a company culture.

As many businesses approach the 2015 planning season, local experts at MSEC are available to discuss the complexities involved in navigating business best practices and can help address concerns specific to Colorado businesses.

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Deborah Brackney

Deborah Brackney serves as Executive Vice President for Mountain States Employers Council.

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