Everyone wants success for their business, but knowing what that is and if you’ve achieved it is a harder task than you might think. It’s vital to define success and know how to measure it objectively. If you can’t measure success for your business, you won’t ever be able to know if you’ve achieved it, making your journey an endless one. It’s this topic that we’re tackling today.
What is Success for You?
The first principle you need to learn is that success is individual to your business. There is no template to follow, no one size fits all guide that will tell you when you’ve made it.
You need to define what success means for your business. That’s not quite the same as deciding what makes you feel good – you have to take in a broad array of different factors when you’re deciding whether your business is a success. The key is to understand that while there are essentials every business needs to aim for, achieving them will look very different for each business.
What Makes Success?
There obvious factors you need to take into account: the essentials that keep your business open. Are you making enough money to cover your costs? Are you attracting enough customers to generate the revenue you need? Are you employing staff with the right mix of skills to fill the needs of your business?
These basic needs should be the baseline: achieving them in the first step for success.
You should then look at your aims for the future and make sure they are quantified. Wanting to grow your business is a good aim, but it’s nonspecific. Think about why you want to grow, and the best sort of growth for your business – depending on your industry and how you’re set up, adding new products to your line may be more or less desirable than opening new branches or selling your existing products in new markets.
When you’ve set the goals that define success for your business for the next month, a year or five years, you need to be able to track your progress objectively and accurately. Market research companies are useful here: brand tracking surveys can tell you about the health of your brand, how customers are responding to the changes you are making.
Meanwhile, you can use your internal tracking to monitor your performance: how much money you’re making, how much your spending, and where you gain and lose that money. It may be worth speaking with consultants to help set up tracking systems you can use to stay on top of this.
With clear targets and objectives measures of success, you’ll find you can identify when you’re successful, and when you’re falling short of the mark – vital insights for your business.