How to Define Success as a Small Business Owner, By Sandy

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 the 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.

business success


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 …

Is First Class Airfare Worth it?

This question comes up a lot from people who are right on the verge of affording it or have a ton of unused miles. For most, looking at the cost will immediately determine the answer. If you simply can’t afford the costs, as things like bills and daily expenses are a top priority, then it’s not worth even considering what could be an extra several thousand to over ten thousand dollars in cost each way for an international flight. For others, the costs may mean nothing, and they will fly first class simply because the impact will be non-existent.

Then there is everyone else. And for those, the question really revolves around the purpose of the flight. Is it for business or pleasure? Will you buy one ticket or is it for the whole family? Are you paying the whole thing or is someone else helping? And finally, do you have miles to put toward the cost?

In general, first class offers better food, better legroom, more privacy, more comfortable seating, friendlier staff, and more room to work. In addition, you get off the plane first, don’t have to fight for overhead storage space, and have better access to restrooms. And while that may or may not sound important, flying first class is a very different experience from coach or economy. But the biggest benefit is for those who have a busy day directly after the flight. All of those perks lead to a more enjoyable experience, which leaves you better rested and more able to get right into things when you land.

For business fliers, this can be extremely important. If you are finishing up some work on the flight, then going directly to a meeting to make a presentation which could make your company hundreds of thousands of dollars, the costs of the first class tickets should be negligible compared to the importance of being ready for the meeting. An employee who sits in an economy middle seat with no room to open a laptop is going to have a hard time prepping for that meeting. He or …

Finding Strategic Thinkers for Your Company

strategic thinkingThe fastest way to go out of business is to become yesterday’s news with yesterday’s widget. Staying ahead of the trends, keeping up with changing customer expectations, and marketing to changing demographics is vital to the success of any business. And the people best positioned to do this are strategic thinkers.

People who simply try to repeat that which worked in the past often have trouble accounting for change. When technologies change and logistics pattern need to account for it, outside the box thinking might be the difference between your company thriving and going under. Similarly, a visionary who starts a business but surrounds him- or herself with “yes men” will never have a truly divergent thought. This can lead to ideas getting stale or chasing the wrong ideas. The safety company I’ve been working with is being built with this in mind, not adding yes men but strategic thinkers and doers.

Instead, it is important to hire strategic thinkers who will factor in all elements of a problem and try to come up with a unique strategy to overcome it. They will, perhaps, deliberate longer on a problem than others, and they may come up with ideas that seem counterintuitive to consensus logic, but ultimately they are trying something new. And something new is very important in business.

They also have no trouble expressing their viewpoints. This helps to stem stagnation and ensure fresh perspectives are always considered. This can increase sources of revenue, help to cut waste or help to change the direction of a company when it’s needed to ensure growth and profitability.

But finding strategic thinkers isn’t always easy in an interview. It’s not as simple as reading a resume to find someone with a certification or specific, relevant, experience. It involves analyzing the interaction during the interview. Asking questions around previous times where strategic thinking helped the interviewee succeed can be a start, but canned answers can be in reserve. Instead, it is important to look for characteristics during the interview and while speaking – especially during the “chit-chat” at the beginning and end of …