How do you determine when your business is going to be successful?
When it meets your definition of success.
Many, I’ve found, start businesses thinking forward; the test and validate, customer feedback oriented development. I have a hypothesis or a business I want to start, what do I do first? That’s generally actually bad idea because every business, every team, has a unique set of experiences, skills, resources, and market considerations. Forward development is how new businesses get confirmation bias (the tendency to believe feedback that is consistent with your assumptions); that, or they’re blind to market factors they haven’t yet encountered.
Start with the end in mind.
These are VERY different businesses; each successful:
- A sole proprietor paying their way through life
- A company that goes public
- A corporation that employs people
- A startup that gets funded
- A local business that makes a difference
- A chain that gets franchised
Those are all wonderful definitions of success BUT each a different road to get there.
When you set out blindly, and figure it out along the way, you might discover you’re heading down the path toward what makes a small business successful, while your goal was a funded company. Oops.
Now you have costs, time spent, and misleading experience that you have to correct. And maybe you can but either way, wouldn’t it have been nice to know that from the beginning?
Determine what success means for you as the road-map for THAT business guides you along the way. Without that, you’ll likely never find success.