Being a business owner is a truly complicated proposition.
Not only are dreaming up a new idea, but you’re also building it, refining it, and testing it – all at once, usually while you’re taking care of customers.
The biggest challenge, then, isn’t so much “what to do” – it’s answering the question of “what next?” Do you decide that six figures is enough? Do you open new units? Expand? Franchise?
The questions are endless and the obligations are, too.
On the other hand, let me ask you a question: Have you ever defined “success” in your business?
Have you ever flatly stated what your goals are that, once reached, will allow you to say, “I’m successful, and here’s why…”
In many cases, real entrepreneurs never do that. Not because they don’t know, or they’ve never thought about it, but because they’ve become so overwhelmed by the day to day operations and simply “doin’ it” they fail to recognize milestones and growth for the celebrations they should be.
Imagine the month your gross monthly income surpasses last year’s total gross income?
Or the day you finally decide to give yourself a real salary?
Or your first raise?
The thing is, as a business owner, you often don’t allow yourself to celebrate success … or, if you do, you don’t celebrate it enough.
What I’m talking about here is acknowledging the little victories and making time to live “in the moment.” You very well may sell your company one day to Google or Starbucks or Walmart, but NEVER lose sight of the smaller steps and actions you’re taking that set bigger successes up down the road.
Celebrating success is really about understanding the metrics of your business, anyway, so you’re not simply partying for no reason. If, for example, you have validated that you do ten sales a day on average, then when you and your team move the needle and the average to eleven, or twelve, or twenty – take the time to celebrate it!
With that in mind, here are some things to consider – and metrics you might need to be tracking – for success in your small business…
- Increased profitability from one quarter to the next
- Higher clickthrough rates on marketing
- Decreased turnover (or a revised training process)
- Hiring your first operations manager (comptroller/bookkeeper/marketing director/and so on…)
- Documented and increased customer satisfaction
- A month with no customer complaints
- And so on and so on…
The idea here is to quit thinking like a manager or a skilled worker and begin to think about all the daily challenges that arise as a business owner. Too many times, I see entrepreneurs who are so lost in a daily struggle to simply make it through the week (or the day!) they forget business ownership isn’t just about survival, it’s about growth and scaling. No one opens their own business to simply be “busy,” they open a business to “be successful” – and then forget to do that!
This week, I want you to really dig into the reasons you opened the doors in the first place and begin to look for these sorts of key indicators you’re going in the right direction. Yes, when you start looking for success, you might not find it – in fact, you might be a bit overwhelmed at some of the challenges you didn’t realize you had within your four walls.
Remember, you’re NOT in this alone – there are literally experts everywhere – be they legal specialists, training gurus, or financial and tax experts. Quit trying to be everything and allow yourself to find the help you need.
I’m here for you – and ready to celebrate with you. Reach out to me and the team if we can help you find and create more success worth celebrating!
All the best-
Ted Smith, CPA