Defining Success for Your Business

How do you define success? And more importantly, who doesn’t want to be viewed as successful? Let’s talk about a process that will help you to better frame success in terms of your business. Most retailers think that getting more sales is the answer…but success starts way before that. Or they think that their location or their brand is the answer…but I’m here to tell you that success starts even before that.
Let’s begin with how you determine what success is for you. What does it look like for you? Can you describe it? What does success feel like for you?  Unfortunately, many of my clients, when we first start working together, can’t define their success. Most clients describe it in money terms and while money is an extremely important and critical measurement, having a crystal clear vision of what success looks like for you is fundamental to achieving profitability in your business.
One of the first actions I take my clients through is an exercise that defines who they are and what they do. If you do not know who you are as a business, then guess what? Neither will your customers! I ask my clients to answer the following question: “Why am I in business?” Most of them answer that it is to serve a particular customer group or to provide a service or solve a problem for their customers. I have them define what they are famous for and why their customers choose to buy from them and their answers to these two questions become key in defining their success.
Here’s a simple exercise that takes only a minute but will have lasting impact on helping you define success. Fill in the missing pieces in the following sentence and once you do, I guarantee you will begin to form a clear idea of what success might look like for you.
I help __________ (Fill in the blank. Let’s insert here who your ideal customer is, or the target market that you want to go after).
For example, in my company, I help retail business owners and manufacturers…
Ok, do you have that? Now let’s fill in the next part of the sentence:
Do, or be, or get, or achieve __________ (Insert here the result that you can get for them.)
Using my earlier example, I help retail business owners and manufacturers get more customers and sales…
And now we’ll insert into this sentence another word that defines your differentiator: __________ (for example, are you faster, does it take less effort to use your product, or do you offer a more streamlined process, or make things easier for your customers, etc.)
Using my earlier example, the sentence reads like this, “I help retail business owners and manufacturers get more customers and sales faster and easier.”
Do you see how this sentence is beginning to define who I am and what my business model is?
Are you ready to fill in the final part of the sentence in this exercise?
Even if __________ (and here I want you to insert the biggest objection your customers can have about your business or service).
So here is the complete sentence using my example: “I help retail business owners and manufacturers get more customers and sales faster and easier than they ever thought possible.”
The sentence you create should begin the process of clarifying for you a crystal clear understanding of yourself and your business model. How your business is different from you competition and how you communicate that is the critically important first step that will lead you to success!