4 ways to measure small business success

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By Henry Brown

Running a small business is not without its challenges – and one of the biggest hurdles is accurately measuring success. What does success mean, anyway? When you set up your company, you probably had an idea of what success might mean to you. It could be a certain figure in your bank account; a certain number of happy customers; or an impact on your industry.

When it comes to measuring success, there are a wide range of tools and methods available at your fingertips. In this article we will discuss three ways to measure the success of your small business, giving you the forethought to create your own success story!

Financial success

Of course, the primary yardstick with which we measure business success is money. How much money is your business making, and how has this improved over time? At the end of the day, a business can’t run on a loss for long; your small business needs to turn a profit.

There are simple ways to measure your profit margins – simply calculating your overheads and returns – but there are more detailed ways of measuring your financial success than basic methods.

By using digital tools such as sales performance metrics, you can not only measure how well your business is doing financially, but how productive your sales are.

Employee satisfaction

Outside of financial gain, as we mentioned earlier, there are plenty of other versions of success to consider. If you run a fiscally viable company, that’s a great achievement – but a financially successful business is nothing without a team of dedicated, happy employees. No employee is going to be happy 100% of the time, but this doesn’t mean you should ignore concerns or complaints.

Overworked employees who are dissatisfied with their day to day working life will eventually leave – and with them, will go the talent they brought to the table. When you consider your company’s success, it is crucial to think about how happy your employees are, and if they aren’t, how can you make changes to improve this?

Real-life product impact

Along with financial and employee achievements, there’s the real-life product impact that your business has on its customers. This is, without a doubt, a huge part of what makes your business a successful one, no matter how small it is.

If the products and services you provide are genuinely, positively impactful to the lives of your customers, you can and should consider this a success. Even if there is still some growing to do, and you want to improve your financial viability, you should be proud of how your business is helping the people it serves.

– Personal well-being

Then, of course, there’s you. How do you feel about the way your small business is progressing? Are you living a happy life, and is this business serving that life in a positive way? These are questions you should ask yourself. If you are happy, you should count this as a success.

Overall, success is what you make of it – so don’t let anyone else define what success means for your small business.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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