What does success look like anyway?

by | Jan 30, 2021

When we think of success in business terms, we tend to think about multi-million pound turnovers, high-profit margins and lots of staff.

Every year I glance at the regional and national awards wondering why the measure of success tends to focus on turnover, financial growth and how many staff have been employed. I get it, I get it. The more money you bring in and the higher the profit margin, the more likely you’re probably doing better. And employing staff is a measure of that success. And that’s great.

But for those of us running micro-businesses, it can often be a different story.

We don’t necessarily employ staff but often have a solid supply chain working with other small businesses generating revenue for their businesses. Some of us work on our own – from choice. We may not have the biggest turnover in the world but…

What does success look like if you’re running a very small business?

Turnover, profit, net worth, bonuses and salary are all measurable quantities and are a measure of a failing business as much as a successful one. And we certainly don’t want to fail.

Status, title, holidays and possessions like jewellery, clothes, money and cars make some business owners tick.

For me, my business success is measured by me. It is exactly what I define it to be. It’s more than profit, possessions and materialistic goods.

  1. Not working for anyone else. This is my first measure of success. It means the freedom to make my own business choices, make my own mistakes, work with clients I choose and do exactly what I love doing.
  2. How my clients feel. Success for me is measured by how many business owners feel better after interacting with MINT Business Club.
  3. Resilience. The choice to pivot, change, try new things swiftly and not be accountable to anyone else.
  4. My wellbeing. Being happy, stable and a hard-working human being is right up there as one of my top successes.
  5. Living to my values. Being able to run the kind of business that holds to its values; to support, encourage, teach and include everyone.

Small business success is inextricably linked with wellbeing, happiness and lifestyle. Money gives us more choices. And we all want more choices. None of us who are self-employed, want to be poor or fail.

But success isn’t just about the money in the bank or the payroll. If you’re happy doing what you’re doing with no plans to grow to a large multi-national company – that’s pretty MINT. And remember there are 5 million people in the UK just like you. Being self-employed and happy with it is a life choice that is on the increase.

The next time you have a moment, take a minute to think about what makes your business a success for you and write it down somewhere you can always see it, just for those hard days that you need a little reminder.

If you want to link with me on LinkedIn, I’d be delighted. And remember, #WeAreMINT!