Every single person who has a thought to start any kind of business has had the exact same goal in common: success. No one even begins to have ideas of starting a company without initially having a desire for success. Whether it’s a kid opening a lemonade stand (very successful in my state of Florida) or even a non-profit organization, the factor that is measured to see if all the work was worth it or not is success.
The Measure of Success
Now, success can be measured in different ways, and what one owner may see as a small failure can be a huge accomplishment for another owner in a different industry. For some, success is factored as the number of phone calls reaching an office. For others, it’s all about revenue and profit through retail or services. And yet, for other industries success can be measured as impressions of ads that are used to make customers aware of a new brand. The point is, before any action is taken to begin or maintain a company, a plan towards success is usually drawn up or at least envisioned. However, one thing that a person would rarely think about, in any of these circumstances, is how much success do they want.
For many, the answer is simple, “I want ALL the success there is…duh!” Yet, look deeper and predict a future where everything you do to and for your business actually works. Suppose all your SEO is perfectly implemented, and you rank number one for all your many keywords. Let’s say all your PPC campaigns are generating a ton of impressions, and your click through rate is through the roof. Your quality score is top-notch, and your Shopping Ads are displayed just about anytime your terms are searched for. Let’s assume your Social Media is being managed amazingly well and your Likes, Shares, and Views are stellar. Let’s also add that your products or services are priced amazingly well, all your descriptions are relevant, and your design is flawless. Your reputation management has been taken care of, and any bad reviews you used to have are pushed so far down in the SERPs now that even Google couldn’t find them (It actually could find them…so don’t get too excited). To top it all off, your website loads fast,your navigation is smooth, and your readability is high. You have found a great formula. You stay consistent with it; and eventually, BOOM, you’re viral. Business is as they say, “through the roof”. Now, the question is, can you handle it?
Most new business owners wouldn’t think to put a limit on how much success they want to achieve at their companies, and if you plan for it accordingly, you won’t have to. Before you can decide how much success you want, you must determine what kind of business you are and what you want your company to grow into. If you are a small business, maybe family-owned, you might want to put a limit on how much success you can handle as too much business can be a lot to handle without the workforce to manage it.
The Meaning of Too Much Success
So, what exactly is the meaning of having too much success? How is that even possible you ask? I was just getting to that…so…stop jumping ahead. Let’s move on.
When you are making promises and commitments to multiple clients before you determine how you will manage all the work, you might have too much business. Initially, some business owners are so anxious to get a sale, a contract, or a lead that they will make assurances of their output before they look at the work. With a small client base, they might get away with it before the customer is aware that no planning went into their services. However, once business is flowing at a steady pace, any obstacle that causes the smallest hiatus in that flow can damage the businesses success model for some time, if not indefinitely.
If you are in the business of taking appointments and you fill every hour and every day of your schedule for clients because you are so successful, then you might find an error where someone was mis-scheduled or an important employee didn’t show up for work. Now, in order to fix the issue, it would affect every other schedule in your calendar, because you’ve left no room for error. That is a direct result of not planning on having too much business.
Another example, we can take directly from our own industry. Let’s say we have a client trying to generate leads. A lone legal advice office or similar is a perfect example. If we do a great job, like we always do, those leads will start coming in and our client’s phone starts ringing. Yet, if they don’t plan for how much success (leads) they want and they are the only employee available to answer phones, then some calls can be missed. Now, there is risk of negative reviews stating that your contact information is broken or you are unavailable, and then the business’s reputation takes a hit. Negative reviews NEVER go away. They can only be pushed from display but can always be found. A business strategy as simple as scheduling when calls should come in and a cut-off point to handle current clients would help. What would be even more effective is planning to have another employee hired and trained at the point that success is expected to multiply.
Success is never the end result in business. It is a peak in the business plan, yet it must constantly be monitored and maintained so that it doesn’t get out of control; and that very success you are fighting for shouldn’t become the catalyst for failure. Success should also be broken into smaller parts that are reached at milestones set up in the business plan. Every milestone reached should activate the next phase in the task of managing success as it grows, so that it is always under control, yet present within the business. It is also good to remember that some businesses are not meant to go beyond the thresholds of their original business plans. If an Ice Cream Shop is managing to maintain its success for an extended period of time and isn’t losing any ground, now might not be the best time to also sell Pizza there. It is not enough to just plan a business and give it the resources it needs to become successful. It is also important to plan the amount of success you’re hoping to get out of the business and to setup breakout plans for when success has unexpected growth or declines. Whether your phone rings once or two thousand times this month, you should never let it catch you by surprise.
There are currently zero serious entrepreneurs in the world who don’t think about success constantly. It is the main goal in every business venture and every business plan. Yet, measuring the amount of success you can and cannot handle can be just as important to the legacy of your company as never being successful at all. If you never have success, at least you can start and always try to get it. If you have it, and it goes out of control and then you lose it, it is often a lot harder to get it back then to never have had it at all.