How Do You Define Business Success?

Everyone has their own definition of success. It could be a day filled with accomplishment. To an entrepreneur, it could be finally making that big sale, obtaining a contract or completing a first year in business and preparing for the next.  Everyone who starts or has a business wants to be successful.  Many define success by the amount of money they earn, but are they being realistic?  Profit within a business is definitely a good thing but it takes time to grow your business, develop a clientele and sell lots of products.

You define and create success based on your expectations and actions.  Set realistic short and long- term goals.  That way you can track your progress in incremental and measurable stages.

Successful business people share a number of common skills and attributes:

Key Skills:

1. Financial
2. Time Management
3. Technical
4. Sales
5. Communication
6. Negotiation
7. Reading People
8. Research

Key attributes:

1. Patience
2. Drive
3. Risk-taking
4. Friendly
5. Focus
6. Confidence
7. Belief
8. Self-Reliance

Most of these skills and attributes can be learned with practice but more importantly you need to develop a winning attitude.  And you need to apply yourself.

What else do you need to consider?

Do you enjoy what you are doing?

If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, the effort you put into the business will not be whole-hearted.  This can affect the success of your business.

Do you believe in what you are doing?

If you do not have faith or believe in your business, it will reflect in your sales.  Become an expert at what you are doing.  Confidence in yourself and your business is the key to running a successful business. Talk about your business at every opportunity possible.

Do you plan wisely?

As an entrepreneur, you need to carefully plan so that your business will grow in the right direction.   Planning sets goals and helps you analyze your business.  It can help you see red flags that can be dealt with quickly and effectively.

Do you manage your money wisely?

Cash flow is the lifeline.  You need to know how much money is coming into your business but also what is going out.  Make sure all your business bills are paid.

Do you invest in yourself?

Education is an important asset for success.  Entrepreneurs who are on top of their game use all avenues possible to educate and keep themselves up-to-date.  Attend workshops, seminars and courses.  Education can help you accomplish tasks with less effort and in less time.  Consider joining organizations or clubs and network regularly.  Never stop investing in yourself because you are the business’s best asset.

Are you organized?
Time is money and if you are not organized, you could see sales slipping away.  Develop a routine that allows you to accomplish as much as possible.  Create a to-do list with priorities that have daily, weekly and monthly tasks.

Are you the entrepreneurial type?

Take this entrepreneurial self assessment tool offered by The Business Development Bank of Canada.

So how do you define business success?  You won’t know unless you have created realistic goals that allow you to track your progress.  Continue to educate yourself as you grow your business.  Always take responsibility for your actions and be flexible.  Good planning will give you the confidence to make wise business decisions.

The Halton Small Business Centre is here to help new and existing business.  For more information, visit us at the Halton Small Business Centre, 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville or online at

What’s your small business success story?  What accomplishment are you most proud of?  Share your story! Once a month we’ll enter all entries into a draw for a chance to win a voucher for one of our upcoming seminars (value $20.)

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