What Defines Success in Business?
Every entrepreneur goes into business with the highest hopes of it being successful. However, identifying what “success” is could be very individual to you based on your personal goals as a business owner. Is success creating generational wealth? Is it building, scaling, then selling your business to the highest bidder? Is it creating a franchise of your business that will generate passive income for a long time?
How to Define What Success Means for Your Business
For small business owners in any stage of entrepreneurship, defining what success means for your business begins with segmenting where you are and where you want to go. In addition, it also helps to identify the timeline in which you believe your business can achieve such success as a benchmark.
Here are two core areas to identify success for your business:
Funding: Receiving grants or venture capital (or other investments) can be a great way to measure how others see the potential of your business in a particular market. These forms of funding require you to pitch what you’ve created and why, which allows investors to help you identify that you are indeed solving a problem that needs to be solved. However, lack of funding doesn’t always mean that what you’re building or have built is not needed and may just require proving your concept through initial sales and users. Nav offers great options to learn how to tap into getting much-needed funding.
Growth: Are you ready to hire your first employee? Do you have so much product that it’s time to get a warehouse? In any case, growth is a major sign that your business is doing extremely well. Bringing on W2 employees or creating variations of a product can be a tell-tale sign that your business is in good shape.
If you’re brand new to creating a business, you can compare the results of competing companies in your industry and see how successful they have been. By using similar models and niching down to fit your specific business, attaining funding and growth will be a bit easier. But, if you’ve been in business for some, make the comparisons what your business looked like 5 or 10 years before to help see the true trajectory of your business’s success.
Setting and Achieving Goals
Successful businesses are created by successful people. It’s important to create goals that complement your work-life balance and support your personal success and growth.
- Write it down and make it plain. A psychology professor, Dr. Gail Matthews, conducted a study that found 70% of business owners who wrote out and shared their goals were actually successful at achieving them. Identify your short-term (3, 6, or 12 months) and long-term goals (5, 10, or 20 years). Break each bigger goal down into obtainable tasks that help you make progress toward that larger goal. If you feel like it’s all too much, consider prioritizing based on your business goals. Alternatively, consider outsourcing tasks to contractors when possible.
- Study. Looking at other businesses in your niche and how they’ve built their startup is important to understanding how to scale your new business and get the know-how of what it takes to create successful companies. Every business is unique, so use your findings to help inform – but not replicate – some strategies for your business.
- Execute. The concept that “hard work pays off” isn’t just a saying, but a state of doing. As Gary Vee said, “It’s about execution while you’re awake…It don’t matter if you wake up at 4am or 9am. Use your time efficiently!”
The Importance of Resilience and Adaptability
The pandemic has taught anyone with a business or thinking of starting a business that it’s imperative to be resilient and learn how to adapt. The past two years threw the biggest curve balls in ways that made business owners make both immediate and gradual shifts for the betterment of their companies. Businesses always have ebbs and flows that can be predicted and some that just can’t. Your ability to make a difficult business decision with necessary changes and adjustments can dictate the fate of how successful you are as a business owner.
Adaptability in business means harnessing the ability to make sound, necessary adjustments when challenges arise. Can you take a pay cut? Do you have the stomach to let go of your employees? Are you willing to let go of your brick-and-mortar and focus strictly online? Some of these mentioned are real-world scenarios that entrepreneurs have to decide at some stage of their business which could be to their benefit or to their detriment.
Resiliency in business means planning ahead for what’s next after the adjustments. Consider effective ways to be proactive — what did you learn from this experience so if it happens again you can bounce back and recover even faster? Maybe that’s having a funding lifeline like a business line of credit or being more conservative with your inventory. Whatever the resource, consider a contingency plan that reflects both your adaptability and resilience.
The Keys to Business Success
When you have your own business, having a concise idea of what makes your business successful is key. Creating benchmarks, solely based on your business’s plan and model is an effective strategy to implement the necessary keys that’ll make it successful. So here are a few keys to optimizing your business’s success:
- Research. You should know your business and industry inside and out. This includes direct competitors and how your business better serves the market in comparison.
- Create a business plan. Having a detailed business plan will help you get investments, see the areas you need help, potential growth opportunities, and project your business’s future.
- Serve a need. Most businesses fail because they are not created to serve the needs of the consumer. Make sure people need your product or service.
- Hire an accountant/bookkeeper. Keeping your financial records in order is vital for your business. An accountant that has bookkeeping skills can help you to pay your quarterly taxes and ensure that your overhead costs are low.
- Know what you don’t know. Being a successful business owner requires mentors, outsourcing help in areas in which you’re unfamiliar, and being an active participant that listens while delegating tasks.
- Be good to people. Word-of-mouth travels nearly as fast as the speed of light, so it’s vital that you are good to your consumers, offering great customer service experiences, and good to the people you employ to work on your company’s behalf.
How Nav Helps Small Businesses Achieve Success
Nav’s core focus is helping small businesses achieve maximum success. Nav offers resources including:
- Establishing business credit
- Best business credit cards
- Getting small business loans
- Business licensing and more!
Nav provides both online resources and a mobile-app that connects to any type of business. By utilizing the resources such as the app and blog, businesses owners can use these real-world resources to create, scale, and sustain a profitable business. The ultimate takeaway is that every boss and business is different, but with the tools that Nav provides its users, it’ll make the journey much more bearable while giving you information that you can understand.
This article was originally written on April 4, 2022 and updated on April 11, 2022.