Do you have a business success recipe, or are you still trying to find it? It’s okay to still be looking, but you can’t look forever. At some point you need to know what it is you should be doing to make money, consistently. I think a lot about this topic, partly because Firejuice is still a young business.

I encounter many businesses without recipes. They simply don’t know what to do to make money, consistently. Even worse, as I recently wrote, are those businesses that seem to never find their recipes. They run on luck year after year. Sometimes they win and sometimes they don’t but there’s no consistency.

Off course, the best recipe is able to deliver profits even during a downturn. These businesses are rare, the ones that make money no matter what the season. As a marketing consultant working across many businesses, it is interesting to get a perspective from different business owners on how things are going, especially during these tough times. Amazingly some of them are doing well, despite the times!

There is no doubt that we all need recipes for our businesses. “If you do this, and this, and that…. you end up making a profit at the end of the month. And next month. Business can’t be a gamble!

Off-course, for established businesses that have already found their recipes the challenges don’t stop. It never stops! These companies need to continuously adapt and refine their recipes to ensure they remain relevant. This requires a continuous feedback loop from outside the business – from customers and competitors, back into the business. This outside-in flow is where Marketing and Sales play a crucial role in bringing feedback back into the business.

As I type this I am sitting in a Kulula flight from George to Johannesburg and I am keenly aware that this airline has a recipe that makes it profitable. The planes they fly, the services they offer, the routes, the fast turn-around times, the booking system….the brand and the humorous advertising….these guys know how to make money from flying.

My question then is: do you have a recipe for making money in your business? Do you know what you should do, especially during bad times, to still be in the black? The way I see it, such a recipe should consist of a few very clear ingredients:

  1. You need to sell something that the customer wants,
  2. You need to be perceptibly different from the next best alternative,
  3. You need to have a system in place to constantly create demand,
  4. You need to be priced competitively,
  5. You need to be able to produce and deliver efficiently and consistently.

Too many business owners run their companies like a day trader. Sometimes the are up, sometimes they are down. They  largely depend on market forces. To me this is not a business. It is like gambling in a casino.

You need a recipe for making money, consistently.