Business Success

3 Make or Break Business Areas

February 12, 2014

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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While working on a large corporate consulting project recently, three things stood as beacons – three make or break indicators that will very quickly gauge if a business is on track or not. These apply whether you’re running a multi-billion dollar corporation or a sole proprietorship; whether you’ve been in business 50 years or you’re just starting. Nail these, and your chances of success are pretty solid.


Here are 3 Make or Break Areas you must focus on for your business to succeed:


1. People
In our technology-driven world, one interesting theme emerged: PEOPLE still matter! It matters who the leaders of a company are and how they lead; it matters who the customers are; and it matters who those customers deal with on a daily basis. As busy as we all are, personal connection is still a huge factor in a successful business. So take the time to develop your people and to develop solid client relationships. Provide your customers with stellar customer service. Even a simple thing like calling someone by name is a bigger factor than most realize. Leaders who treat their employees as commodities and sales people who only see their customers as commissions are making a grand mistake. Value people…because people have the ability to make or break your business.


2. Process
Let’s face it – we live in a fast-paced world. I heard recently of a well-known restaurant chain that is in distress. I believe it is tied, in part, to the idea that people just don’t have time for sit-down dinners as they once did. It is sad but true. As much as we have figured out how to get so much more done with our time, it has had the effect of creating even more to be done in less time.


If you are in business, you MUST address the efficiency issue. How quickly can someone process an order through your site? How quickly can they know what you’re about when they look at your website? How fast can you meet their needs? When they sign up for a class, can they access it immediately? Do you need to make replays available so they can participate when it is convenient for them?


Do all you can to make the client side of the process fast and easy. There is a direct correlation between simplicity and profit.


3. Product
Let’s say you have great customer relationships and a state-of-the-art process…but you’ve chosen to cut corners on quality.


Let me just throw out two words here: social media.


Social media can give just one person a very big voice, and trust me, if there’s an issue with your product, their voice will spread like wildfire. How often have you seen a restaurant open, receive one or two bad reviews…and the next thing you know, there is a “for sale” sign on the front? Quality stands out – and bad quality can shut you down.


Be like my friend Dave Munson ( and create the kind of products they’ll fight over after you’re dead. Do it right and stand behind it. This applies to service-based businesses as well.


If you think of two or three successful companies, chances are they are strong in these three make or break areas.


And if you pass a business that is closed, you can probably pinpoint one of these areas as the cause.


Look at each of these areas for YOUR business. How does it measure up?



  1. Deb, very timely words to me. Picture this – look out your window to the house next door, you see what you believe is smoke coming from the building but you are not sure….you wait…..wait some more….yes, it is smoke but no flames, yet…..this aptly describes a scenario that hits close to home…….a lot of it due to the PEOPLE factor and the lack of care and concern for them….thanks for the very succinct but descriptive thoughts (actually was getting on Saddleback site this morning – thanks for the reminder!!)

  2. Thanks Deb! I’m looking at starting a new business, sharpening shears for beauticians. This gave me some things to think about. Especially the quality and social media factor. Those scissors beauticians use can easily cost $400 and one mistake in can ruin the trust you need for them to let you work on them.

    • Deb Ingino says:

      Sutton I love that business idea of yours. In fact it cold be beauty salons, cosmetology schools, pet grooming, etc…

      I’m having fun thinking of some brand names for you…
      A Cut Above
      Sharpest Tool In The Shed
      Don’t Be Dull
      Cut This

      • Deb, fantastic! I love ‘Don’t Be Dull’. I was thinking of Shear Intelligence. But Don’t be Dull is excellent! Thank you Deb!!!

      • I just bought, just so I had a cool name if I decide to go ahead. I’m pretty excited about it, I’m just trying to verify the market and proper start up equipment.