3 Things A Viable Business Must Be

Every business is different, with unique concepts, unique management styles, unique employees, and the list goes on. But they all have things in common too…and perhaps the biggest similarity is the desire to be successful and sustainable, instead of failing or burning out. To truly be considered viable, a business should be able to answer the following three questions with “Yes.”

1. Is it profitable? Barring nonprofit businesses, a viable company must be making more than it is spending (aka income exceeding liabilities). To do this, the business must provide a needed product or service that fills a gap in the market. It must also use its money (initially from loans or investors, then from cash flow) efficiently and reduce waste.

2. Is it adaptable? Times change, and with them, markets change. An idea that’s brilliant now might be obsolete in five years. Does your business have the flexibility to take a different direction if needed? Or is it a one-hit wonder that will only last as long as the fad that inspired its birth? Even if you’re just starting your business, it’s never too early to think ahead to the future. Start making a plan and brainstorming ideas for ways to stay current.

3. Is it in a stable industry? The economy is notorious for being unstable, but there are certain industries that can weather the storm better than others. External factors affect everyone, so if you haven’t started the business already, do your research into what’s the safest sector to get involved in in your area.

Of course, these days many sustainable businesses are also becoming literally sustainable. From an environmental standpoint, it’s a great idea to invest in earth-friendly practices and building/product materials–and in an age when consumers are happy to support eco-friendly businesses, it can also help your bottom line.

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