In an extremely tough business world, it takes more than good fortune or luck to  succeed as a small business entrepreneur  today. If you find yourself in a position that  you are decided and excited about  launching a new small business, please  take a few moments to read through these  few paragraphs. It may well bring you  down to earth in some ways but could also  be a life saver in the long run. 

We all have dreams of Success and  Growth for our businesses and often we  tend to ignore the pitfall whilst dreaming  these wonderful dreams. My advice to the  reader is to include the possible pitfall in  the dreams to make your dreams a bit  more tangible and not just cloud 9. 

Let me start by defining what Success is  for the small business owner. 

The success of a small business should  include the following elements: 

Profitability– No business is  sustainable without being profitable  and this is a main ingredient to  

your future success. 

Integrity and Honesty– It is our  duty as citizens of the world to  

ensure that we conduct our  

business in an honest way.  

Integrity is not negotiable if you  

plan to be a successful business  owner. 

Community– The world expects of  its businesses to contribute to their  communities, and it is not only an  expectation but should form part of  every business owner’s objective.  This will keep the business  

environment healthy and the  

community supportive. 

Quality of Life– Ensure that every  aspect and area of business that  you are engaged in is done in a  

way that will positively add to the  Quality of Life of all affected. This  is key to leaving a heart-warming  footprint with your business. 

Team– Always remember that as a  business, we need to work as a  

team. One person will not be able  to achieve the goals of the  

business. It only gets done as a  

team. 

Now that you have looked at the definition  of success, your focus should move to  your Strategic Plan for your business. Any  business without a strategy is like a ship  without a rudder. Your business strategy is  your master plan to achieve the business  goals and is critically important to your  success.

Define your business goals for  next year, 3 years and 5 years.  

Envision where you would like to  take the business over time. 

Involve your team in setting the  objectives and to actively  

participate in the drafting of your  Strategic Plan. 

• When drafting the Strategic Plan  you need to be sure that the  

objectives that you set are  

SMART

Specific– Objectives need to be  focussed and specific. All those 

tasked to achieve objectives need  to know exactly what is expected ✓ Measurable– Objective need to be  measurable. 

Attainable– Objectives can be  stretched but needs to be  

attainable to remain of value. 

Relevant– Not only should  

objectives be relevant, but these  also need to be realistic objectives.  Do not set the bar too high as this  will have a negative effect. 

Time-oriented– Objectives need to  be measured over specific time  

periods. This will also enable you  and your team to ensure that you  measure achievements at specific  intervals. 

It is extremely important to ensure that you  and your team stay abreast of the  business arena that you are participating  within. Ensure that you and the team keep  the focus on this important aspect. 

Now that your Strategic Plan is defined,  you and the team need to work towards  the objectives and make it a reality.  Ensure that every participant is given  specific responsibilities and tasks to work  towards. Make use of your entire team  and be sure to manage the process  inclusively, engaging all those valuable  human assets to the business. 

Measure your progress. It is critical that  you track the performance of the team  against the set objectives. Be flexible during this phase as some of the original  objectives may need to change. 

Stay focussed on your Mission. It is so  easy to lose focus at times and it will be  important for you as the leader to ensure  that the team remains driven by the  original Mission that you set out for the  company. Keep your team motivated throughout the process. Acknowledge  their achievements and efforts. 

Success

• For some the measure of success  in the business is the profitability,  the cash flow, or 

• The position of the company within  the industry that you compete in, or • The achievements of the company,  or 

• Customer satisfaction and  

• Security of the employees and  company.  

These are all good indicators for you and  there are many more, however it is  important that you define success for your  company to work towards.

By: Andrew Nicholenas

ERA Facilities Management Solutions

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