Everyone has a different view of what business success means. The most common thing we see is that many business owners don’t really define what success is for them in ways that can be measured or tracked. How are you supposed to know if you are successful if you haven’t figured out what being successful means?
Here are five things to consider to help you figure out what business success means to you and how you can tell when you have actually arrived.
Start from the beginning
Before you launch, as you are building the strategy for your business, you need to figure out what your goals are. This is your end game. Your measure of business success. In order for your to utilize these goals properly, they should be measurable to some extent. You should also look to create both short term and long term goals so you have something to work towards over a longer period of time.
Read more: The Management Consulting Industry
Look beyond revenue
As you are setting your goals, remember that revenue isn’t the only metric of success. Other factors can – and should – play a key role in determining the success of your business. Consider the following when you are creating your measurable goals:
- Community size: While you should look at quality over quantity, if you are doing something right, then your community of followers will
- Community engagement: An engaged community shows quality interactions and that you are providing value.
- App downloads: If your app isn’t being downloaded, there has to be a reason why.
- Email list sign ups: Your email list is full of people who are interested in what you have to say and what you are selling.
- Brand awareness/equity: Harder to manage unless you do market research, building brand awareness means you are top of mind.
- Positive impact: Cause marketing is growing in importance, especially within younger generations. Your business should stand for something – it can’t all be about money.
- Number of clients/customers: Directly linked to revenues, you can also look at returning customers, short-term customers, and figure out why a customer didn’t come back.
- Hitting major and minor milestones: Success means you are headed in the right direction, which means accomplishing things along the way.
Do what’s best for you
While you may have direct and indirect competitors, don’t feel pressure to go after others’ business success measures, look at your own situation as unique. Other businesses might have been in the game longer than you, or they might have different values than you, or any other number of factors of differentiation. Before looking at what your competitors are doing on their growth path look internally at your own thoughts first.
Track your growth
It is important to track your success/growth so you know what you need to accomplish as you work towards achieving your goals. Figure out what your milestones are – large or small – and let that guide you as you grow.
Remember not to close yourself off to change if it is necessary. Sometimes you need to tweak your goals as your business changes.
Listen to your customers
There is no way you will see business success without your customers. Listen to what they have to say and find out if they are happy with the path you are currently on. They may have feedback that will surprise you and help you get to success faster.
A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications blog.