For young entrepreneurs and founders of startups, running a small business could be confusing. Most startups, in the early years struggle to keep their heads above water and are torn between continuing their efforts or shutting it down. When the business starts performing relatively well, founders could be deceived into thinking their startup is successful. It is at such a time that they must take a step back and redefine their goals, objectives and definitions of success. If you observe the following signs, it could be the moment of truth for you, because they signify that your startup is actually succeeding!
- You’ve built a brand that people know:
Also read: The power of proper company branding.
Branding is very important to the success of any startup because every company wants people to know them by name – for positive reasons, of course! A powerful brand is the difference between people associating a particular product or service with your company (like calling every soda “Coke”) and people associating your company name with bad service or not knowing it at all! – whichever is worse.
- Your startup makes money while you’re on holiday: Making money while on vacation is every young entrepreneur’s dream and the measure of success for many. If your startup can thrive without you present, you have built a profitable business indeed.
- Your employees enjoy their work: Happy employees make for a lively workplace. Your employees are the first evangelists of your business and if they don’t find their work enjoyable enough, it can spell doom for your startup. Creating an employee-friendly workplace is probably the first step to making your startup a success. When your workers are dissatisfied due to poor pay or an inhospitable work environment, it affects productivity and morale in the workplace.
Also read: 10 signs you’re a bad boss.
- Customers evangelize for you: When your customers refer you to their friends, family or – better still – to strangers, you know you’re doing something right. The truth is that even the best, most creative advertising is not as powerful or as effective as when someone we know and whose opinion we value recommends a product or service for us. Customer evangelism is a major milestone for any brand and a sure sign that your startup is succeeding.
- You survive tough periods: You know what they say, “What doesn’t kill you…”. When you go through a tough period and manage to come out of it and go on to thrive, then you know your business is succeeding.
- You are making profit: This is probably the most popular yardstick for measuring the success of a venture – and for good reason too. If after all the work, money and time invested, you can say that your revenue exceeds your expenses, then your startup is indeed succeeding. This is the holy grail of every business and opens the door to all sorts of possibilities ranging from reinvesting in company growth to better compensations for staff.
Once your startup is able to achieve these things – customers know who you are, they advertise for you and you make a profit – you can proudly call your business a success.