If you take a sample of people and ask them what they think it means to run a successful business, the majority of the answers will be different. What one person defines as successful may just be a small step up the ladder for someone else.
Much of your definition will come down to what you actually want to achieve from your business. No matter what you want to achieve, however, there are a number of things that, if you run a successful business, you’re going to have to aim for.
The business will have to be able to cover the costs of buying or creating any products you sell. You’ll have to be able to pay the wages of any employees you have working for your business; that includes any work you do yourself. You’ll also need to make sure you have enough money coming in to pay any taxes that the business will have to pay.
All of those things will apply whether you’re the only person in the business, or you have a worldwide company with thousands of employees. But, that’s where the similarities between businesses end, and ambition takes over to determine if you run a successful business.
Do you want to make a comfortable living? Do you want to be able to leave the running of the business to someone else? Do you want to be a tycoon and have an empire that you can watch over? Or, is having just enough money to pay all of your monthly bills your definition of what qualifies for you as having run a successful business?
These are the sort of things you really need to work out for yourself before you go into business; each will require a different sort of business plan, and it helps to know what your end goal is.
If your aim in life is to have more time with the family, and that’s why you’re setting up a business, then you’re going to want to have a business that will run as smoothly as possible while you’re not there. This could mean getting someone else in to run it for you, or it could mean setting up something online that will run as automatically as possible.
Whichever of the two options you choose your definition of having run a successful business will be when you can spend that time with the family, and still have money coming in all of the time to pay for things.
If you want to be the next corporate millionaire and have offices all over the world, you’re going to have to go about things a little differently to the person wanting to spend more time with their family. You may still choose to spend more time with them, obviously, but the chances are that for the first few years at least, you’re going to be spending a lot of time making contacts, employing people, studying trends, etc, etc.
Here you’re going to have a different definition of what it means to run a successful business. Will it be when you’ve made your first million? When you have offices in America, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific? Or will it be when you’re a global brand?
Although both types of business model take work and planning, the results are essentially the same; you have something that you specifically want to achieve at the end of it.
The ultimate aim of most people, no matter whether they go for the global domination or the increased family time, is to be happy with what they’re doing. If you can achieve what you set out to do, and be happy with the process and results, then the chances are you’ve run a successful business.