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Anthony Etzel

How Do You Measure Success in Your Business?

Business owners may measure success in different ways – some tangible, some intangible.

In order to establish how you should measure success for your business, you need to first examine how you measure your personal success. If you are a business owner, or a part of the management team of the company you work for, ask yourself these questions to see how you measure up:

Assess personal success.

1.    Am I happy in my job?

2.    Do I have passion for what I’m doing?

3.    Do I get the desired results based on the effort I’m putting in?

4.    Am I putting forth my best effort?

5.    Am I patient and allow for sufficient time to see results?

6.    Do I get respect from my co-workers?

7.    Do I have the endurance to hang in there when things get a bit rough?

Reflect on successes and failures.

After answering these questions, do you need to make any changes? Do you still have the same ambition and drive to achieve the goal? Are you content with your work, or have you come to the conclusion that you have not done your best?

To be successful, you need to always monitor yourself, and accept your mistakes. Acknowledge your weaknesses, and make plans to improve them. Working hard does not always guarantee success. Achieving personal success is the first step to helping your company be successful. 

Examine the ways success is measured within the business.

One of the first measuring gauges most companies look at in determining their success is profit. Did the business make enough money? Did we achieve financial goals? Profit is a key component in running a successful business. It is important to monitor expenses and operating costs against the revenue coming in. If your company is profitable, are you achieving success? Many would say “YES!”, but is that enough? Maybe real success lies in something deeper.

Three Keys to Success 

1. Customers
The key to being profitable is having a strong and happy customer base. If your customers are unhappy, you will lose them. Determine why they are unhappy and resolve the issues. In addition to keeping your current customers happy, you want to continue to grow your customer base. Without this growth, the company will limit its opportunities to survive and thrive if a given segment of your customer base is experiencing a “down” year.

Another key component in keeping customers and growing the customer base is to know and understand their needs and requirements. Is your customer service the best it can be? Remember, one bad review on the internet can have a big impact on winning new business. Do your customers know everything you do? You may have the best products in the world, but unless your customers know about them, your long term growth goals will never be reached.

2. Employees
It goes without saying that if your employees are not happy, your company is probably not performing as well as it could be. Keeping good employees is critical to the successful operation of your business. Do you listen to your employees? Are your employees rewarded for their hard work? Are they willing to put forth the extra effort when needed? Without good employees, the business will not be successful. The business will be in survival mode and not growth mode. Is the management team happy? Do they work together, or do they work against one another? The success of any business is based on the team assembled to support and run the business.

3. Projects
Each project must be successful. Look out for the things that can cause your projects to fall apart. Define measurements of success for your projects:

If projects are not measured and successful, your company can fail. You may have customers, but if you can’t deliver based on how and whether you complete projects, you will lose the customer base.

I have run many projects in my day. The success of a project is based on the project team, not just one person. Make sure you have the budget in place, a great team, and a good executive sponsor.

Make sure the proper expectation level is established. With the wrong expectations, the project will start out on the wrong foot. 

Key Components for Project Success

1.    Manage the schedule  Is the due date realistic?  Are the team members completing their assignments on time? Make sure you have the proper resources required to meet the completion date.

2.    Budget  Do you have the proper budget? Did the project come in over or under the budget? Know early on if there is a problem before the entire budget is consumed. If you always overrun the budget, your business will not be profitable.

3.    Know the Requirements – Clear understanding of the requirements is critical. If the requirements are not clear, you will suffer from scope creep. The scope of the requirements will continue to change and creep on, which will result in an unsuccessful project.

4.    Measure – Measure the results of the project activities on a weekly basis. Make adjustments as required to ensure the success of the project.

So, are you successful? Is your business successful? I’m sure your business is a lot like ours. Sometimes we meet all of our objectives, and sometimes we fall a little short of where we’d like to be. The key is that you’re always trying to improve. Be the best that you can be today, and make changes to be better going forward.

Need some help in managing your projects, or improving your bottom line? Give us a call. We have consultants with 20+ years of experience working with manufacturers, and software solutions with proven results that have helped our customers save hundreds of thousands of dollars….sometimes millions.Oh, and one other thing… once you achieve success, celebrate it. You deserve it. We’d love to be part of that celebration.

About the author:

Anthony is a recognized industry expert in manufacturing processes and operational improvements. His thirty-plus years of experience encompass a broad spectrum of industry sectors: Automotive, Pharmaceutical, Medical Equipment Manufacturing, Aerospace Manufacturing, Food and Beverage, and General Manufacturing. He is uniquely qualified to quickly and accurately identify the potential improvements in efficiency in both discrete and process manufacturing operations, and identify those specific areas that could most benefit from process improvement.

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