Published on October 1st, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi0
9 Ways To Measure The Success Of Your Small Business
For SMEs, the first years of business are crucial. In order to succeed you need determination, perseverance and patience. It may not feel like you’re growing as fast as you’d like, especially when you compare your success rate to that of larger businesses. However, there are signs that you should look out for that signal success – big and small.
If you want to know how well your small to medium business is performing, measure it against these 9 things.
One of the most obvious ways to measure the success of your business is by looking at its profit margins. If you are turning over a profit – however small – you are succeeding.
You should diligently track your finances to make sure you’re not continually in the red. You can use payroll software to help with tracking your finances or enlist the help of a financial specialist.
Another way to measure the success of your business is to consider its growth rate. Have you had to expand your team and hire new employees? Have you extended your products or services? Do you rely on outsourcing elements to your business to external companies to alleviate your workload? Any of the above is a sign that your business has performed well enough to grow and need additional resources.
3. Good PR
Success can be measured in the number of awards, reviews, accolades and acknowledgements your business/products/services has received from the press. This signals that you are ahead of your competitors and have gained the attention and satisfaction of your target audience.
For example, if a local newspaper picks up on something your business is doing, you can count that as a local success. Next step – national recognition.
4. Word of mouth
You may have put in a lot of effort to your digital marketing, but you will know that your business is succeeding if customers are talking about you and are recommending your services on their own accord.
This is why you should always invest in business printing services and get business cards made. If you end every conversation and exchange by handing over your business card you will ensure that your business remains top-of-mind to that individual. Then, it won’t be long before they tell their friends about your services.
5. Customer satisfaction
Your customers are at the heart of your business. Without customers you don’t have a business, so keeping them satisfied should be your biggest priority. And, if you find they are satisfied, you know that you are succeeding.
To ensure your business has customer satisfaction, you need to ask your customers if they are happy. Conduct customer surveys, probe them for reviews once they have purchased a product, or even ask them simple questions such as “Did you find everything you were looking for?”
You can ask these questions through email marketing, or simply through pop-ups on your website. Always give them an option to say that they were unsatisfied, but always follow that by a “comment box” where you ask “What could we have done better?” To gain their trust and cooperation, gently encourage feedback – it is instrumental in guiding you to reshape your business operations for the better.
Customer reviews are crucial because they have the power to influence sales. Positive reviews are like gold dust; if a customer sees that a “real” person has had a good experience with your business, they are more likely to trust that review. This is why you should always use testimonials on your website.
In short, the more positive feedback you get, the more successful your business is.
6. Employee satisfaction
You should never disregard the satisfaction and happiness of your employees. Without a happy team, your business will not operate to its full potential and will not grow.
To ensure your employees have job satisfaction, you should stay attuned to their concerns as well as their achievements. Hold regular performance meetings (every quarter, at least) where you encourage them to give feedback and suggest changes. Maybe an employee feels undervalued or feels they could be doing more. It’s always better to find out about the issues early on so that you can make the necessary internal changes. If you don’t, you may risk losing them entirely.
7. Low labour turnover
You can count your business as successful if it has a low labour turnover. In other words, do you staff stay for a long time, or are you constantly hiring new people?
Constantly replacing team members is counterproductive to your business’ success and hinders growth opportunities. It also signals that there are serious issues occurring in your internal processes – e.g. issues with management, pay or job satisfaction.
Also, you shouldn’t be so quick to hire new employees as soon as you experience a hint of business growth. Instead, consider giving your current employees more responsibility. This will make them feel more valued and boost team morale.
8. New customers
When you first launch a business, your customer base is mostly family and friends. This may be the case for the first month or two whilst you wait for your marketing and advertising endeavours to gain traction, but if your customer base remains stagnant for much longer than that you have a problem.
If you kick your marketing up a notch and attract new customers from it, you know that your business is moving in the right direction. Regularly take stock of the number of new customers you have to measure the success of your marketing efforts.
Business success is all about reputation. If you have a good reputation you will be successful. If you can keep your customers satisfied they will keep coming back for more. A customer retention is the sign that your business is on the up.
If you can mentally tick “yes” next to any of these signs, you can be sure that your business is successful in its own right. In order to reach higher heights, heed our recommendations and there will be no stopping your growth rate.