6 Paradoxical Traits Of A Successful Business Today

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What pops into your mind when you think of the term “successful business?” From a negative slant, you might think of big corporations that could care less about humanity, would do anything to increase sales, and pay their employees as little as possible. From a more positive perspective, maybe you think of hard-working small business owners who make sacrifices and provide great service.
But as times change and technology becomes more integral to our daily lives, the nature of a successful business continues to reshape itself.

1. Ethics

Sure, plenty of unethical businesses easily stay afloat each year, but there are fewer things they can get away with nowadays. With the internet, every unethical move a business makes can easily become common knowledge to half the population. News of Chick-fil-A owners being against gay marriage proved just how quickly outrage can spread and tarnish a brand’s reputation for good. The term “ethical” or “conscious consumerism” was unheard of until 1989, but is now a widely known practice.


The rising importance and effectiveness of content marketing has upped expectations from businesses. Businesses are no longer faceless entities, but representations of people. Why follow one business on social media when another in the same industry has a more enticing “personality?” Businesses that are able to articulate a positive personality to customers are going to win out, while ironically, those who are overly focused on the business aspect will fall behind in popularity. Customers no longer look for simple professionalism — in many cases, they’re looking to relate and be entertained.


Again, we can attribute this to technology and the increased pace of modern day-to-day life. The traditional corporate business model relied on uniformity and consistency, not so much on variety. From this perspective, variety equaled sloppiness. Think of McDonald’s and its formulaic method for getting the same exact products out to each customer in roughly the same amount of time — much variety going on there. But as our culture shifts, people are becoming more concerned with creativity. Namely, they want you to impress them, not hand them the same exact products and services on a daily basis.


Of course, generous has a positive connotation as it pertains to individuals — generous people are good. But in business, generous was traditionally thought of as foolish. If you give too much away, you lose profit and your business eventually fails. Being stingy was being smart. Today, that idea is quickly disintegrating. Countless professionals now advise new entrepreneurs to give away valuable products and services in order to develop a reputation. Many established business owners insist this was what led them to their success. Instead of convincing potential customers to trust you and make a purchase, you first prove the value of your offerings with something free.


Why would a business owner cater just to certain demographics? At first glance, it seems like marketing to everyone would raise the chances of making a sale — more the better. You don’t want a secret business, but a business everyone knows about, right? However, this is not common practice in today’s marketing world. In fact, just about all marketing experts advise against this and instead recommend pinpointing a very specific niche. By doing this, you will save money and build a loyal customer base instead of constantly trying to replace a parade of one-time buyers.


What makes a good salesperson? Certainly, modesty is not what comes to mind. They are usually aggressive, confident, and constantly reiterating the value of the thing they’re selling. But the thing many of these salespeople fail to realize, is that people hate them. We avoid them at all cost… even salespeople avoid other salespeople. Pay attention to commercials, sales pages, and even store employees, and you’ll notice that this sleazy sales tradition is rapidly disappearing. What it’s being replaced by is a more modest, laid-back selling style. There is no aggression or pushiness. The benefits of buying are laid out to the customer in a more honest way, allowing them to feel comfortable and make an informed decision.