Cambridge AS A Level Business Studies/ ZIMSEC Advanced Level Business Studies/ Business Enterprise Skills Notes: Enterpreneurship: Features of successful businesses

  • As has already been mentioned in our introduction to business
  • Businesses are formed by entrepreneurs who take the risk of combining the factors of production usually in the hope that they will make a profit for their trouble
  • We have also looked at the traits of successful entrepreneurs
  • Here we will look at the features of successful businesses
  • It goes without saying that not all businesses are successful
  • Some are obvious failures as they eventually go through liquidation
  • The hope of most businesses is that they remain a going concern i.e. they remain operational for the foreseeable future
  • Going through liquidation is, therefore, an obvious sign of failure
  • When it comes to a lot of successful businesses, however, they have certain features that they have in common that fosters, boost and ensures their success

Features of a successful business

  • Have a clear set of objectives and vision-owners must have a clear set of objectives of what they want to achieve otherwise the business will eventually fail. These strategic objectives will be used to create the tactical and operational objectives which will drive the business towards its goals and ensure success
  • Sound financial standing and preparation is also essential. Those businesses with a sound financial management department tend to do better as they can manage for example their cash flows and liquidity the later is often the reason why even profitable businesses fail
  • Have a motivated workforce-only businesses staffed by individuals who are passionate about what they do tend to be successful.
  • Good marketing ability-in today’s competitive world it is not enough to just make good high-quality products. The business has to successfully market itself and its products
  • Resilient and able to survive-often all businesses go through boom and depression cycles. It is only those that survive the tough times that are ultimately called successful. It is those businesses that prepare for foreseeable and unforeseeable tough times are ahead that tend to do better
  • Training and development-staff skills are important in business. Businesses that train their workers regularly are able to stay effective and efficient.
  • Able to evolve-as has already been said the business environment is dynamic and constantly changing. Only businesses that are constantly adapting in the new environment can remain viable. Otherwise, a business might be forced to shrink or even liquidate itself. An example is how camera film and paper businesses lost their dominance with the rise of the digital camera. Some went out of businesses because they failed to anticipate and adapt to this change.
  • Operate ethically
  • Operate in a socially responsible way


These are by no means the only traits of successful businesses but they are some of the most important traits of successful businesses.

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