When speaking with our clients on a daily basis, it always surprises us how many different definitions of business success we hear. From “improving the buying experience of every customer” to “building an internationally recognised brand”, the ideal vision of success is as varied as the businesses themselves. But whether you are just starting out on your path or you already have a thriving business that you’re proud of, it’s crucial that you define measurable and attainable success.
“Knowing what you want as a business and how you’re going to get there is essential for your team, your employees, and your shareholders”
For a publicly traded company, the accepted definition of success usually relates closely to shareholder value. People, organisations and investment groups will invest in your business and your success is tied closely to how confident these people are in your company, brand and future.
For start-ups or smaller organisations that are not publicly traded, shareholder relationships aren’t often an issue as owners of small businesses are usually the ‘owner’ without shareholder interest. If you own a SME, your success may be related to something entirely more personal. It could be simply providing an excellent service to your community, developing a fully functional product or creating jobs. Ultimately, the bottom line and profits may be slightly lower on the list; it’s all about context.
However you go about defining what your success is, it’s essential that it’s communicated clearly to your team. When it comes to entrepreneurs in particular, many find it difficult to fully define their vision when outlining an attainable future ‘success’. The result of this can be that teams in start-ups fail to fully “get” the vision and may compromise in certain areas along the way or adopt policies that help the company expand but neglect the end goal.
Having a fully committed team behind your vision, will make it much easier to get off the starting blocks. It can be useful to regularly share your vision of success with your team and assign goals based on individual strengths. Everyone should fully understand and be on board with the business success strategy in order for the plan to work.