Business owners define business success in many ways. Definitions are as varied as the people who are doing the defining. For many, success is based on whether the business owner has satisfied her reasons for starting the business. Profitability and industry connections are common mile markers for success. Some entrepreneurs believe that doing what you love, having flexibility in your schedule, getting paid to work from home or investing in your own talents are also ways to define business success.
Write down your business goals. Break your goals down into actionable steps that you can begin taking immediately. Completing steps toward your business goals creates a momentum that can help you feel successful. Progress toward goals can also lead you to more opportunities, new customers and greater profit. Inc. Magazine suggests that one way to measure success is by taking some time at the end of each day to appreciate the steps, big or small, that you took toward achieving your goals.
Create satisfied customers. Think long term when you meet a new customer or client. Build relationships by paying attention to customer needs and offering solutions that meet those needs. Some entrepreneurs define success by the size of their customer base and market share. Listening to people and serving them with excellence can inspire your customers and clients to stay loyal to you and spread the word about the quality of your business.
Develop a strong network of peers. Fellow business owners in your community may end up becoming your new customers, business partners, investors or advisors. Join your local chamber of commerce and attend their sponsored events and business mixers. Attend conferences and trade shows in your industry to expand your network of contacts. Keep in touch with people online. Some people consider their network of peers to be a reflection of business success.
Control the business finances. Most business owners see profit as an indicator of success. Diligent bookkeeping can prevent leaks in your cash flow. Research any major expenditure to find the best deal. Protect your company’s credit ratings as well as your personal credit scores by paying bills on time and making credit purchases sparingly. Having a profitable business can reflect your entrepreneurial savvy and might lead others to look to you as a symbol of their definitions of business success.