Setting Goals and Defining Success in Your Business

December 15, 2011  |   San Diego Bookkeeping   |     |   Comments Off on Setting Goals and Defining Success in Your Business

success concept

One of the easiest and most reliable ways to achieve success is to set goals. It sounds simple but so few people do it. How are you going to get where you want to be however if you fail to define where you want to be?

I found the results of the survey in the article below very interesting. The question asked was about defining success and it had some predictable answers and some less so.

What I think is more interesting is that in order to get to the point where you can actually reach those points you really need to get specific about what they mean to you and then measure that against where you are so you can create a path to get there.

I know from both personal experience and from consulting with so many small business owners the goals that get accomplished are the ones that are specific, measurable and consistently worked towards. Again, it sounds simple, and it is, but you have to actively make the effort if you want to get there.

One other point from the article I thought was especially poignant:

The study found two key steps these businesses took: they used professional advisers to prepare for future growth, and they realized that paying employees well attracts better workers and leads to greater success.

I am pretty sure they were talking about using professional bookkeeping and accounting services there!

Here’s the article I’m referring to:

How do you define success? A new study from The Hartford set out to discover what constitutes success in the eyes of small business owners. Here’s what the Small Business Success Study of 2,000 small business owners found:

The survey asked small business owners to choose their top answer from among various definitions of success. The top three responses were:

  • Make enough money to have a comfortable lifestyle: 24 percent
  • Do something I enjoy or feel passionate about: 23 percent
  • Increase the profitability of the business year to year: 18 percent

Other possible answers, including “have the free time to do whatever I wish,” “expand to new markets,” and “sell the business for a substantial profit,” were far below the top three, only garnering single-digit responses.

Based on how small business owners themselves define success, what type of small business owner is the most successful? The Hartford found that the entrepreneurs who feel most successful are those who have 10 to 20 employees and have been in business for more than 20 years.

This group was more likely than average to say their businesses are currently successful. They were also more confident about the future. And they were significantly more likely to admit they’re closer to “complete” success.

What’s enabled them to succeed? The study found two key steps these businesses took: they used professional advisers to prepare for future growth, and they realized that paying employees well attracts better workers and leads to greater success.

Of course, simply having stayed in business for 20-plus years was surely a contributing factor to feeling successful. But it seems to me that entrepreneurs who enjoy the greatest success have a realistic attitude toward their business. They don’t expect miracles, but they do have goals and plans. They’re optimistic and they enjoy what they’re doing. Sounds like most of the small business owners I know!

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