Small business owners are often too busy to see the woods through the tress - especially when it comes to measuring their own success. But these 7 signs will give you a quick guide as to how well your business is actually doing and if you're on the much fabled road to success.
Life in a small business can be tough. Often, just getting by is classed as a success. But with many of the small business owners , when asked "how're things going?" they usually just reply, "Dunno. Ok I guess."
The fact is that they simply don't have the time to wallow in their successes. Bottom line figures aside, if you look for a few key markers you'll be better able to tell if you're heading in the right direction. Here are few key signs to signal you're on the road to success.
1. You're happy
A question we often find ourselves asking is "Am I happy going to work today?" If the answer is yes, the chances are this is because the business is doing well. In fact, it would be surprising if anyone was happy going to work for a business that was struggling. In the longer term, also consider if you've had any regrets. We all make mistakes but as long as you don't have any major regrets, you're probably on the right track. And that, leads to happiness through and though.
2. Customers are happy
Going hand in hand with your own happiness is the happiness of your customers. Numbers and figures aside, if you're getting good feedback, positive reviews and people returning time and again, it's probably as good a sign as any that you're on the road to success. As a tip, use social media as a good marker to see how they're feeling.
3. Workers stay longer
It's important to build up a good core team in your businesses. But retaining the best staff can be hard if you're constantly battling the bottom line. However, if you're finding that talented people are sticking around 3 or 4 years, then you can rest assured that it's because they're working for a successful company.
4. People recognize your name
This one's a good boost for your ego as well. If you're at an industry event or even just on the street and someone either recognizes your company name or you hear it brought up in conversation, it's hopefully because they've had a good experience with you. Unless of course you're involved in some kind of scandal, then name recognition might not be so great... We won't go there in this article though...
5. You've got new contracts
It's good to have a number of key contracts that can make up the bulk of your income. But if you aren't gaining any new clients outside of this core, then that should be a warning sign of upcoming trouble. New customers are vital for success and growth, focus on that!
6. You're flexible
As mentioned before, running a small business often means you're working right at the margins. But if you're finding time to be flexible with projects, or think about things more creatively, it's a sign that you've got time (and therefore) money to spare. And being flexible and creative can help you to grow even faster. As they say, success breeds success.
7. Costs are getting lower
While this article isn't meant to deep dive into financial figures, costs are a good indicator that things are going in the right direction. Companies need to be efficient, as this means you can reduce costs and free up more time. So, if you find costs going down, it means your margins are increasing.
Hope this guide was helpful and you're finding your way on the path too success!
The companies I mention or link to in this post are just examples that I thought you'd find useful - I don't endorse them or their services. I have no affiliation with them and make no representation about their services.