What Is Your Critical Success Factor?

I know that “Critical Success Factor” sounds like typical business school jargon, but the idea is important – especially for small business owners.

Your critical success factor is that thing in your business that you have to get right, every single time.

For instance, my critical success factor is “listening.”

My website can be functional but professional. My books can be 3 months behind. I can be less than punctual about returning calls (though I’m pretty good about this one).

But because I’m a coach, I have to be an exceptional listener for my clients.

A graphic designer, however, needs an exceptional website, for instance.

This is not meant to provide us with an excuse to deliver bad service in other areas. Chiropractors, for instance, still need to be effective marketers.

Yet, knowing what you need to get right, EVERY time, is a powerful clue in how to create a successful small business.

Success isn’t about doing everything flawlessly. It’s about doing something flawlessly and getting known for that.

A great example is Zappos.

They made a commitment to customer service. In fact, they declared for all to hear that they were a customer service company – who just happens to sell shoes. Their product was irrelevant.

And if you read “The Zappos Miracle” by Shinobu Ishizuka, you learn about how Zappos delivered on that commitment – time after time, day after day – even when it cost them a sale.

What is your critical success factor? How can you improve your practices and procedures to ensure that you deliver on that EVERY time?

The success of your business depends on your ability to be exceptional at something.