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What is business success now?

If there’s one positive to take from the events of the last three years, it’s the opportunity to consider what’s important and redefine the meaning of success.

If there’s one positive to take from the events of the last three years, it’s the opportunity to consider what’s important and redefine the meaning of success.

For those of us in business, this leads on to redefining our plan and goals to ensure the business can deliver the type of success we want. The natural extension, for those with team members, is to revise what the business needs to deliver to the team.

Defining personal success in a pandemic

It’s likely your definition of personal success will be different to what it was before the world was turned upside down by a global pandemic. For example, your pre-pandemic definition might have involved travelling the world, regularly upgrading the car and enjoying frequent nights out.

To secure this lifestyle, your profit target might have been $100,000, which could have meant working 60 hours per week and never finding the time to be with family or doing that much-needed exercise.

Then lockdown happened and the goals shifted. Overseas travel was replaced with the excitement of just getting out of the house; the upgraded car goal was replaced with a bicycle, to achieve transport and exercise at the same time; and an expensive night of bar-hopping and restaurants became board games or an evening of Netflix.

As lockdown restrictions were reduced or removed, we all emerged with a new clarity about what’s really important.

Now, that profit target mentioned above might need to be revised. Maybe your revised personal definition of success might require only $80,000 income, equating to fewer hours working so there’s time to hang out with family and stay fit.

How to make your business successful – a post-pandemic approach

The business should give you the cashflow you need personally, as well as the discretionary time to enjoy the lifestyle you choose. Using the example above, your previous personal definition of success meant you were working 60+ hours per week, with little time for family or exercise.

With your revised personal definition of success requiring just $80,000, you can reduce the pressure needed on the business to deliver that old level of profit. If all business costs remain constant, it could be that sales can drop by 10% and you’ll still achieve what you need from the business. Lowering the sales target could free up your time to make a better plan for a smarter business, perhaps with higher margins and reduced overhead costs.

That plan is your revised definition of business success, which will give you certainty that you’ll achieve your revised personal definition of success.

If you have employees, the achievement of your business success is highly dependent on how well your team performs. It’s likely your team members have all reflected on what success looks like for them, just as you have. Studies show that a happy and engaged team with a strong workplace culture will out-perform a team driven using the carrot and stick method.

Redefining success for your team should include things like:

  1. Creating and living an agreed set of core values
  2. Regular performance reviews and goal setting (i.e. the team defining their version of success in their role)
  3. Flexible working arrangements
  4. Reviewing roles, responsibilities and progression opportunities
  5. Reviewing remuneration, holiday allowances and perks

Step-by-step to personal, business and team success

Follow these steps to pull these three definitions of success together:

  1. Create a revised personal budget and define your personal definition of success
  2. Update your business plan, setting out the minimum viable sales needed to achieve the income you want, as well as the goals and actions to ensure you get there
  3. Update your annual financial forecast
  4. Set up a system for ongoing reporting and accountability
  5. Ask your team to complete a reflection questionnaire, then hold a performance review and goal setting meeting with each team member

There is no magic here. These steps have always been important. It’s just that they’re likely to need a review in the current climate.

Get in touch with us if you need help with redefining success or implementing strategies to achieve your definition of success.