The three pillars of a successful business are Customers, Teamwork & Systems. Let's review each of these one by one to establish why.
Without customers there is no business. Customers provide the cash flow that breathes life into a business. A short term exception are businesses that due to the enormity of the capital investment or duration to get set-up may not have customers right away, but in this case they have investors who provide the cash flow.
The key to success with customers is to think about what they want, from their perspective and create your products and services from there. After all, customers are free to go and find someone else to buy from. They might go to your direct competition, a business who provides something similar or different.
Or they might decide to keep their money and buy nothing at all. It is always the choice of the customer and if you make the decision to understand what your customers want, to serve your customers well, and to meet and even exceed their expectations then you will do well in your business.
A team is made up of of all the employees, suppliers, and other people that come together to ensure your business success. It includes the founder, the staff that work in the business, salespeople, product development people, customer service people, and front line staff that greet customers.
A good team is able to produce more than a bunch of individuals working alone. There is a synergy that becomes evident, and it's based on knowing your job and knowing that you can trust and rely on the people around you. So when one person has to stick their neck out to get something done, they know they can rely on the others in the business to do their part.
The manager or CEO of a company needs to make sure that each person on the team knows their job and can complete their job well. This is how you create an excellent team. If a person does not receive the appropriate training in what is expected of them or how to do their job, they will not be able to contribute completely to the whole team and the business will not do as well as it could.
A business has to create ways of doing things that are repeatable so that they don't have to reinvent the wheel everytime.
A invention or a product is not a business. To create a business around an invention, the systems must be put in place to make the product, to market the product, to get the product out to distributors or for sale on the internet, and ultimately get the product known with customers so they will buy it and tell their friends about it.
Systems include computers, networks and technology in general. Procedures are also part of systems. Define the procedure for doing something so it can be done the same way most of the time, then it will take less time to get the job done, and the job can be shared with people without them having to figure out everything from the beginning. Remember, the computer does nothing without exact instructions. They may be preprogrammed instructions, or the instructions given at that moment but the instructions are always there.
People can do jobs without being given instructions, but it will likely take longer. Setup the instructions to streamline the business.