Business is thriving?
You’ve been chugging along turning your dream into a reality. After all the long hours and sleepless nights, you begin to wonder if it is ever going to get better. “What is this ‘restful night sleep’ you speak of? What is ‘relaxation’?” Some times when you’re in the middle of the hustle, it can be hard to determine if all your hard work is actually getting you somewhere. Today we’re going to talk about some signs that your business is growing and is on the path to success.
You have cash
Generating profit shouldn’t define your success, but your ability to generate and manage cash is critical. As your business grows larger, your overhead and expenses will as well. As your costs slowly creep higher, one day you might find yourself out of cash to pay your employees this month. Your revenue could be tied up in an accounts receivable till next week. Maintaining cash is key to a sustainable growing business.
Great work environment
Another great indicator your business is thriving and on the fast track to success is a happy and skilled workforce. When your business is small and growing, every employee has a direct impact. A small business needs loyalty. You want your employees to care about your business as much as you do.
For example, let’s say you’re a small retailer with two other employees. You hired them out of desperation because you haven’t slept in four months. We’ll call them Jack and Jill. Jill, on one hand, is wonderful: She’s friendly and kind, a fantastic employee. On the other hand, there is Jack. He’s rude and confrontational with customers. You deal with him because he’s reliable and can always pick up shifts.
Think of it this way. Let’s say you get about 100 customers per day, and you all rotate on the register. That means Jack is mistreating 1/3 of your customers, or 33 of them. With the common rule of thumb that an unhappy customer will tell approximately 10 other people about their bad experience, that means every day Jack negatively impacts 330 potential customers. Sure, you can say I’m exaggerating a bit; maybe Jack’s rudeness doesn’t bother some people. But still, any loss of business is a bad thing!
I’ll be dramatic and throw a quote at you guys.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
– Albert Einstein
A great sign that your business is on the road to success is fluid mobility. Can your business quickly and efficiently adapt to product or market changes? Do you have enough cash on hand to adapt? If a massive contract came through the door, could you handle it? Let’s say an important client agrees to pay in 60 days. Can you pay the bills until that payday? Now you’re seeing the importance of managing your cash efficiently!
Or for example, you see an emerging market trend. You’re a clothing store and you noticed a new type of shoe is becoming extremely popular. Do you have the adaptability to buy up a bunch of inventory on the spot? If not, you may have to revisit your cash management situation.
Lowering your costs
We all like to think we are good at what we do, but odds are you’ve probably gotten better since you opened your business. Often people are too blinded by the allure of increasing revenues and forget about how equally important it is to lower costs.
A sign your business is thriving and doing great is that you have learned how to be lean and efficient in your processes. It is much easier to reduce costs than steal customers from your competitors.
Customers are finding you
Once your reputation for providing a great product or service starts to get around, you’ll find that customers are discovering your business, not the other way around. Organic referrals and testimonials will start to drive more customers inbound, with little marketing efforts. Now, I’m not saying to stop advertising or marketing your business, but you’ll find that more customers are flowing in naturally.
Using social media will also increase this drastically. Once you have established a strong social media presence, you’ll become a part of people lives, remaining top of mind, and driving traffic to your website, blog and/or product offerings.
In conclusion, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel to know at any given moment whether or not your business is thriving. Building your business is a never-ending process, but these are all some strong indications that your business isn’t going to fail anytime soon.