It’s not always easy keeping a business alive. In fact, the U.S. Small Business Administration says only two-thirds of new businesses make it past two years, half make it at least four years, and only 40 percent survive for six years or more.
How do companies that survive succeed? Much of a company’s longevity has to do with the quality of the company’s founder and top-level management, according to studies by the research firm Gallup.
In its research over time, Gallup has found that companies that survive over the long term have executives that share several key characteristics:
A clear vision. The leaders of successful companies are more likely to clearly articulate the corporate goals and competitive advantage(s) of their companies to their clients and employees.
A close relationship with customers. They are more likely to make decisions about pricing, product or service development with their customers in mind. They maintain close relationships with their customers.
A plan for growth. They spend time planning for growth and aligning employee responsibilities with company goals. That practice maximizes employee engagement and increased individual performance.
Gallup also found that business people who share these characteristics are three times more likely to build large businesses and to grow them significantly. They are four times more likely to create jobs, four times more likely to exceed profit goals and five times more likely to exceed sales goals.