This list reflects my experiences only, is based on no other research and is in no peticular order.
10. They had a well researched, well written business plan that backed the assumptions in their financial projections.
9. The business was an original idea or at the very least was different from the competition…they have several competitive advantages and/or served a niche.
8. They underestimated their market size and demand for their product or service.
7. They implemented structured employee training and standard operating procedures before they opened their doors.
6. They excuted a marketing plan beyond a grand opening and for longer than a few months.
5. They created a strong brand with immediate name recognition.
4. They overcapitalized their working capital account…i.e. they had lots of cash on hand.
3. They delivered exceptional customer service before, during, and after the sale.
2. They were in the right market, at the right location, at the right time.
1. They have an unending passion for what they do.