Signs of a successful business

Signs of a successful business

“Never give up. Today is hard. Tomorrow is worse but the day after tomorrow will be worse,” said Jack Ma owner of Alibaba.
When you start a business your goal is to be successful. There will be challenges, ups and downs, disappointments and discouragements before you can say you have made it.
But how can you tell that you have succeeded; that you have achieved what you wanted? There are a few signs that one should look for to see whether you are successful in your business.

When you meet these indicators you can happily sleep at night knowing that you have met your goals. Of course it does not mean that you need to rest on your laurels. We need to bear in mind that success is not a destination, it’s a journey.

A business can be said to be successful when people know it by name. Businesses invest quite a lot in corporate and product branding. The objective is that you want customers and potential customers to recognise your business by name.
When they think of your service or product you want them to immediately think of your company. You want your company’s name to be the first to be associated with when anyone thinks of your product.

It’s like when you mention a fizzy drink you immediately think of Coke. This is what should happen to your company. Clients you do not know and who have never contacted you before will now be buying from your company. It’s also possible that your company will be able to make it on the first page of search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.
A successful business should provide value to customers. When customers see value addition from what your company is providing they easily refer other customers to buy your product or use your service.

If your business shows a continual growth pattern from year to year it indicates that you are on a path to financial success. There will obviously be ups and downs but as long as the business is bouncing back to profitability then you can tell that you are on a success path.
Your cash flows should also be positive and you are able to reinvest in the business to ensure sustained growth. A point to note however is that just because you are not showing a profit at the moment does not mean you a failure.

You should look at the potential the company has for future profitability. The company should also be displaying continuous growth in the market.
One other indicator that your business is a success is how your employees behave. If your employees are excited to go to work then it bodes well for the business.
The excitement that exudes from satisfied employees does have a positive effect on employee productivity and also on customer confidence in the company’s product or service.

It’s easy to conclude sales when an employee is confident of his/her company’s product. Your employees should love what they are doing; this is the key to a successful enterprise.
If you can go on holiday and still earn money from your business it shows that you have built a viable company. You can only do this if you have put in place the right structures in the business.
There should be policies, processes, procedures and a proper chain of command that will enable the company to function even in the absence of the owner. There should be set ways of doing things, there should be proper documentation, manuals and rules.

There is no reason why you should be answering customer calls or replying to business emails while on vacation. It shows that you are not delegating decision making to your subordinates.
A business is set up to meet a market need; to provide a solution to an identified problem. You can consider your company successful if it is changing a customer’s life by meeting the market need. As a business owner you seek to make a difference in the world through your business.

When a customer tells you that you have made a difference in his/her life then you should know that you are meeting your company’s goal.
Success in business is being able to rest at night knowing that your business will still be there when the sun comes up in the morning.
A successful business is a business that’s well known, a business that can run in the absence of the owner, a business that’s profitable and showing positive cash flows, a business that’s having sustained growth in its market segment and a business in which employees are proud to be associated with.

“It is determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal-a commitment to excellence-that will enable you to attain the success you seek,” says Mario Andretti.
With determination and commitment you will succeed.

l Stewart Jakarasi is a business and financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy (ACCA P3), advanced performance management (P5) and entrepreneurship.
He is the Managing Consultant of Shekina Consulting (Pty) Ltd and provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, corporate governance, preparation of business plans and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations.
For assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles please contact him on the following contacts: sjakarasi@gmail.com, call on +266 58881062 or WhatsApp +266 62110062.

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