Business success

Firstly, business success, and how you achieve it is often talked about.  So, this blog will look at what helps you get business success.

What is business success to you?

In the beginning you need to think about what success looks like to you.  Furthermore, you need ask this question in advance of doing what you do.

business success

Which picture of success fits your business?

Objectives for business success

Most importantly, consider what your SMART objectives will be, these are what you will measure in terms of success.  Your objectives could be to generate enough income to maintain a decent lifestyle and a work life balance. You may want to achieve social and philanthropic outcomes.  You may want to get out of what see as a mad corporate culture.  Your ambitions may be loftier, and you are looking to be the next Denise Coates, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw or Richard Branson,

There is a difference between objectives from aspirations and missions. The absence of SMART objectives can relegate you to drift which can result in dissatisfaction and confusion.  If a business sets out to make loads of money, it will never be satisfied, or be able to meaningfully assess its own journey.  By all means look to make loads of money, but quantify and be specific as to what that looks like?

Business success & mindset 

First of all,  success is heavily influenced by your mind-set and attitude towards achieving it.  A fixed mindset is important for things like credit control, accounting systems and controlling costs.   While in contrast, you need a growth mindset for things like exploring opportunities, new initiatives and stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Also,  every business will make mistakes, and bad decisions.  Certainly it’s the nature of business that things will not go according to plan.  Therefore, learn from these mistakes, don’t be too hard on yourself and move forward.

Planning for business success

Being aware of the common mistakes look unnecessarily negative.  However, knowing about the main pitfalls and trip wires helps you be aware of them, and react accordingly.

Consequently, planning helps identify some of these challenges, and makes you think about how to react to them.  Most of you wouldn’t go on holiday without some element of pre-planning, you should do the same in your business

Business success for you

It seems like more people are thinking of working for themselves, either by accident or design. For most this proves to be a life changing event. There are several highs and lows to this life change. The positive aspects include flexible working hours, greater variety of work, increased job satisfaction and work challenges.

Along with these highs come autonomy and independence; improved work/life balance and increased earning power. The negative aspects of this life change can be no guarantee of work or income. Also, a greater degree of isolation and less human contact. There can also be increases in financial risks, exposure; and stress from heavier workloads

This life change can be quite lonely, and experiences are akin to experiencing a roller coaster ride. For example, busy work periods followed by quiet periods and feelings of optimism followed by ones of pessimism. Fortunately, these days there are a greater number of support agencies and forums that provide a wealth of aid and assistance.

Common pitfalls

In short, some common pitfalls include a mismatch between resources and expectations;

  • Difficulty in making the attitudinal and financial transition to “running the show”;
  • Poor market research;
  • Weak operational financial and strategic planning control & execution;
  • Poor credit control;
  • Product led and not customer led;
  • High level of operational and financial risk; over dependence on a single customer/supplier; lack of commercial formalities, e.g. basic contracts and
  • Inadequate working capital.

Certainly, the list is by no means exhaustive or a judgement on anyone who has experienced the above.  Likewise, I have made some of those mistakes listed above, and I don’t know any business that hasn’t.  Running your own business has a different level of risk and uncertainty compared to being ’employed’.


Consequently business success comes down to a mixture of mind set, hard work, luck and business disciplines.  1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.

What next?

Above all, do you know what business success looks like for you?  Contact us if you want to know more about how you can achieve success in your business. For more business and finance , news, advice and tips, don’t forget to watch our weekly broadcasts, listen to our weekly podcast I Hate Numbers.We’d love to help you find and deliver that success.