I want to take a moment and thank Sandy over at SHLS for submitting this article, although her specialty is party buses, she has keen business acumen when it comes to running her own business as she’s displayed over her many years as “boss”. The following is a result of years of hard work and finally learning how to enjoy her success.
Defining success can be different for every small business owner. For some, creating a constant stream of income which supports them is success, others seek long term wealth. Some will look at the year over year growth and find success there, while others will look at the market share growth. No matter what you use to gauge success, here are some pointers to help you clearly define your goals to track success long term.
Personal successes come from small businesses every day. The act of creating a business which supports you is a personal success. But beyond the financial aspects, many small business owners see the value they add to the lives of their clients. They also enjoy what they do every day. And that enjoyment can be a huge personal success compared to how it might feel working in an office every day doing meaningless tasks.
Some people crave opulence, others the basics. Whether your small business is a supplement to your income or your sole income source, it is impacting the lifestyle you and your family live. So if your small business allows you to take an extra vacation every year, that could be a success. Or, if it affords you the house you want and the activities your family enjoys, that can be a success. Sometimes, taking a step away from the financials can help you see how successful you really are.
Many small business owners focus on their brand. They track how it is viewed by the public, how well it is known in the community, and how it is received. Obviously, the more known and better received your business is, the more likely clients will do business with you. Having a strong brand can be a major success.
Growth can be tracked monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. It can be tracked through revenue growth, growth in sales, or by territory. It can be tracked by how many counties you serve in a state, how many states you serve in the country, or how many countries you cover. There are a near limitless number of ways to track growth, and however, you do make sure it is tracked consistently to ensure you see your successes.
Finally, most small business owners see their small business as their plan to one day retire. Whether by creating a long term income stream, gaining value to sell at some future date or by accumulating assets over the years to allow for a comfortable retirement. However, you plan to use the business to retire, be sure to understand your goals so you can track the success.
No matter your business priorities, there are always ways to track success. But by looking at all the ways in which your business is succeeding, you will find that you feel more successful overall.