Success is not only measured by profits

Profits may be the most popular metric of measuring the success of a business venture but it is by no means the only (or the best) method for measuring success. Most start-ups are not profitable at the beginning of operation and many are not profitable for years. While monetizing a business is an important goal there are other important metrics that can be used to judge the performance of the company beyond the simple bottom line.

Social Responsibility

Success Social ResponsibilityThe impact a company has on society as a whole may warrant its existence even if it does not make a profit. This is why non-profit organizations exist and why they are able to source funding for their missions. Even businesses that operate for profit may have such a positive environmental or social impact that the level of profits alone cannot fully measure their success. Take for example a utility company that invests heavily in  renewable energy and experiences losses in two years following that investment. The short term losses, will undesirable, may be overshadowed by long term impact of the transition to a cleaner source of energy.


Success InnovationIdeas are valuable and great ideas even more so. Not all ideas will be the next big thing, but innovation requires brainstorming and trial and error before genuinely useful new products and services are invented. The process of innovation can be expensive and yield little or no monetary profits in the short term. It however, is an essential part of business which is why some companies have whole departments dedicated to research and development. The ideas hatched today may actually be the cash cows of tomorrow and/or may inspire the next wave of technology developments.

Growth Potential

Success GrowthIt is possible for a business to develop and polish the products and services that it offers before it is able to monetize these goods and services. During that period the business may garner fans, users, supporters and attract investors, but may not be able to match the enthusiasm with sales. Sometimes the right business model just has to be figured out. In these situations the potential of the business means that profitability is expected eventually so the company should not be written off. It is a risk but the potential rewards are also high.

Customer Service

Success Customer ServiceMore and more businesses are being judged not only by what they provide but by how well they treat current and potential customers. It is easier than ever for people who interact with businesses to publicly express and share their experiences – good or bad. Businesses with superior customer service gain a good reputation and stand to gain more business through referrals and repeat customers. On the contrary, if a business neglects t respect and treat customers well it may face a lot of negative publicity on blogs and social media.

Make no mistake – your company will be judged by the bottom line. Profitability will be an unavoidable metric used to measure your success in business. Bear in mind however that profit is not all that is important. There are many other factors to consider in making your business a true success and ignoring these factors may discourage a entrepreneur on the verge of success.





Don’t be afraid of entrepreneurship

BusinessThe world can be a scary place for an introvert with a great business idea, but a reluctance to express these views in public. Fear of ridicule, criticism, failure and doubts of one’s own ability can be crippling to the point of holding back ideas and stifling creativity. What if I am not good enough? Should I do this if I know I am not the best at it? Won’t the competition think I am a joke? All these thoughts tend to creep up on someone who is thinking of making a dramatic step into the world of entrepreneurship, especially when that person’s personality is not outgoing and bold. Despite these reservations there are a few things you should know if you are held back by fear uncertainty and doubt.

You are going to fail, but you can still succeed

When you start your own business you should expect to fail and if you decide not to start the business you have already failed. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone and there are numerous statistics which show that the vast majority of start-ups fail. The trick with entrepreneurship is that success is only achieved after you overcome initial failures and set forth plans for long term sustained success. Do not be intimidated by the risk of failing, instead prepare for obstacles since the response to failures will determine your future success.

Confidence is key

If you cannot convince yourself that your business plan is solid and that your idea has merit you are unlikely to convince investors and other key stakeholders. While you must recognize risks and know your weaknesses if you are going into business you should also know your strengths and why you believe your business can succeed. Having credible information to back up your claims is a good way of building confidence so research can be a powerful ally.

Network whether you like to or not

When you start a business you must resist the urge to keep to yourself and hope your work gets noticed. You will have to actively promote your business to let people know it exists and more importantly what it has to over them. This may be a challenge if you are not a naturally outgoing person, but it helps to use your passion for the business and desire to see it succeed to motivate you to  network with prospects who may become leads and ultimately be converted to customers.