Meaning of success in business
Factors leading to success in business
Benefits of a successful business to an entrepreneur
Factors which lead to business failure
Common management mistakes that cause business failures
Indicators of a business that is not doing well


Factors Leading to Success in Business.

There are a number of factors that lead to success of a business. These are:

(a) Personal and entrepreneurial qualities of the business owners and senior management staff

For any business to be successful, the owner and the senior management staff must possess certain entrepreneurial qualities or characteristics. Qualities or Personal Entrepreneurial Characteristics (PEC) of successful entrepreneurs refer to the desired traits, which enable an entrepreneur to do what is expected of him/her and succeed in business. It is the combination of these characteristics that is required to enable any one to perform effectively as an entrepreneur. It is possible for people to develop these characteristics and succeed in their careers as entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs have common characteristics, which are divided into three clusters namely achievement, planning and power.

i) Achievement Cluster

  • Opportunity seeking

This refers to the quality that enables the entrepreneur to see and act upon new business opportunities even in situations where other people see nothing but problems/hopelessness only. It also encourages him/her to seize unusual opportunities for obtaining the necessary resources such as financing, equipment, land, workspace, technical assistance, etc, which will enable him/her to implement his/her business ideas.

  • Commitment to the work contract

This is the ability to accept final responsibility for completing a job for the customers. Customers expect entrepreneurs to perform and honour their commitments. It follows therefore that the entrepreneur should do everything possible to ensure that he/she fulfils the commitment with his/her customers. If it means joining the workers to work with them to ensure that contractual commitments are fulfilled, the entrepreneur will do it.

  • Persistence

This is the quality, which enables the entrepreneurs to develop determination to have a thorough job done at any cost in terms of personal sacrifice. By doing this, the entrepreneur remains working towards the achievement of his/her set goals.

  • Risk taking

Entrepreneurs are people who prefer taking moderate risks. Before they commit themselves and their resources, they assess the risks that are associated with a business opportunity that they have selected, and their ability to manage them, the benefits that they will realise and the challenges that they will face from the venture to be undertaken.
Entrepreneurs can earn profits as a result of taking risks and the higher the risks, the higher the profits. However, entrepreneurs will always prefer to take on those risks that they can manage.

  • Demand for efficiency and quality

This is the quality that enables an entrepreneur to do things that meet or surpass existing standards of excellence or improve on performance by striving to do things faster, better and cheaply. By doing this, the entrepreneur remains ahead of others, makes more profits and retains a growing market share.

ii) Planning Cluster

The planning cluster is made up of the following characteristics:

  • Goal setting

This refers to the ability of an entrepreneur to set clear and specific goals and objectives. These goals and objectives are normally high and challenging but at the same time, realistic and can be attained, given the resources that one has got at his/her disposal.

  • Information seeking

This is having the urge to look for the required information in order to make an informed decision, for example, selecting, starting and successfully managing the desired business. This calls for the concerned person to personally seek and obtain information regarding customers, suppliers, competitors as well as any other relevant information that is required to enable the entrepreneur make decisions and improve knowledge on his/her business.

  • Systematic planning and monitoring

This is the ability to develop plans that will be used in monitoring and evaluating the progress of the business. This helps the entrepreneur to carefully monitor his/her business’ actual against desired performance and turn to other alternatives whenever the need arises, so as to achieve his/her set goals.

iii) Power Cluster

  • Persuasion and networking

This is the ability to link, convince and influence other individuals, agencies and other groups in order to maintain business contacts at a high level. This will help or work for the cause of the business in a positive manner to accomplish own objectives.

  • Self-confidence

This refers to having a strong belief or confidence in oneself and the ability to complete a difficult task or meet a challenge.

By possessing and practicing the above entrepreneurial qualities, business owners and senior management staff will be able to provide their businesses with good, efficient and effective leadership and management, which will enable their businesses to succeed.

(b) Clear objectives

If a business is to be successful, it is necessary that it should have clear and definite objectives. Once set, the entrepreneur should ensure that the business is operating and management guidelines set to achieve objectives are closely followed.

(c) Efficient and effective business planning

Planning is a very important factor for successful operation of a business. This is because planning enables a business to set its targets, methods of achieving them and resources to use in the process. This therefore enables it to operate within a known and provided framework, which saves it from crisis, straying off course and the associated losses.

(d) Proper location and plant layout

The success of a business may depend to a great extent on its location and layout. Appropriate location helps a business in securing the required inputs, for example, materials, labour, power, etc., at minimum possible costs. The location also helps it to secure and access markets at low costs.
(e) Availability of business support services

Businesses thrive and succeed in an environment where there are business support services such as financial services, business information, transport, communication, water, power, etc. For example, where there are banks that can lend entrepreneur money to expand his/her business, then such a business is likely to succeed.

(f) Availability of market

Production of goods and services is meaningless unless there are customers who will buy them at prices that will yield profits to the enterprises. Enterprises produce their goods and services to meet the needs of their customers. Where the volume of the customers is large and growing, and the customers can, and are willing to buy the enterprises’ products at profitable prices, then the enterprises will have a very good market and high chances of succeeding.

(g) Conducive government policies

If the government policies are conducive for business growth, then businesses will thrive and succeed. Examples of conducive government policies include fair taxation, controlled inflation, a well functioning financial system (i.e., banks that can lend businesses money at fair interest, liberalised prices and foreign exchange rates), good security and political stability, etc.


You may invite a resource person (business proprietor) from any of the recognised successful business around the school or in the country to class to share his/her experience with the learners.

Ensure that the learners take notes of what the resource person is presenting and freely interact with him/her through question and answering.


Teachers' guide
Scheme of work

Lesson plan

Useful web links



Bagatya, W.Z.K. 2007
Kabatire, S. and Mutyaba, S.V. 2007
Kigenyi, F.D. 2007