What does being successful in business mean to you?
At any critical stage in your business journey take the time to ask yourself the golden question: “What will my business success look like?” Growing a business is not an easy endeavour and therefore, take the time and reflect ask yourself the golden question.
The golden Question: “What will my business success look like?”
Quick peek into some common answers to the golden question:
“That’s a great question.”
“….all my staff to be happy and feeling they are successful at work.”
“….contribute back to society and making a difference.”
“….turnover greater than $60 million within three years”.
“….business valuation of $15 million within five years and then find a buyer.”
In my day to day meetings, I regularly meet some extraordinary entrepreneurs who have built multimillion-dollar services businesses with a strong market brand. These businesses have great facilities and enviable long-term client relationships, generating repeat business year after year. They may lack detailed or “strawman” business plans or careful and ongoing financial analysis. However, they survive each year through the grit and determination of the founder.
Business publications and news feeds are full of helpful advice on the types of questions a successful business owner should be asking themselves. Almost certainly, the articles and the advice include a manageable list of buzz words and “to-do lists”. As an example of this Zipkin’s list of 50 “Easy” personal and business goals is helpful because it combines the personal requirements with the business goals. In a more business-focused approach, Hasabnis’ list of 12 Business Goals is very focused on just business.
With both of these useful approaches and the well thought out lists, the application is very operational and tactical.
An advancement in this continuum is the well-known Simon Sinek video which challenges all of us to start with defining our company’s “why”. An eminently useful exercise which leads to the purpose of the business and the Mission statement. It also leads to a strong customer message and, if delivered well, great customer experience and sustainable business.
The Sinek message forces us all to move up a few levels and think in a more strategic mode.
Nothing is wrong with either of these approaches, but it does not answer the golden question; the personal question. You may hear yourself saying: “I can’t work any harder.” As self-doubt rears its head, you find yourself asking: “What comes next?”
It is quite common for all successful business founders to go through a period of growth and success for a few years only to reach a plateau in business growth and development. The day to day pressures of running a business and wearing several “hats” prevents any chance for the creative entrepreneur to think about the medium to longer term.
Scaling or growing the business, keeping employees engaged, planning for an exit, reaching revenue goals and expanding overseas are all examples of bigger goals that are far from tactical. They need to be rooted in a passionately held personal goal.
Before you embark upon another year of “doing your best” through a business plan and determining your company’s “why” ask yourself the golden question, spend some time working out “What will my business success look like?”
Once this is clear to you, then you will find it easier to craft out your company’s “why”, the Mission, the Vision, the Values and all other components necessary for a comprehensive strategic plan and road map to your golden answer.