How Do Australian Small Businesses Measure Success? Not the Way You Might Expect
How do you define business success?
The easy answer is, of course, "lots of profits." And if you're a struggling Australian small-to-medium enterprise, you could be forgiven for focusing squarely on maximizing revenue and profit.
Recent research, however, shows that business owners are motivated by other factors -- and they have some surprising things to say about how they ultimately measure their own success.
What Makes a Business Successful?
National Australia Bank (NAB) published a white paper exploring the growth landscape for Australian SMEs. They interviewed business owners about their stiffest challenges, their most promising opportunities and their general viewpoints and attitudes toward success.
The results of the research were compelling. Just consider the following Australian small business statistics:
Only one-third of SMEs cited high profits as a measure of business success
58-percent of SMEs said sound financial management was a key success metric
56-percent of SMEs reported that positive word of mouth was a measure of success
Productive workers (49-percent) and happy workers (45-percent) also scored highly in terms of success metrics
Overall, the paper also indicates that while most Australian small business owners are optimistic about the future (a feeling supported by the broader national economic outlook for small business), they don't seem to be primarily focused on chasing profits. Instead, they cite individual parts of their business: customer relationships, employee management, solid accounting and financial management.
It makes perfect sense that these SMEs would approach defining success in this manner. That's because they know that a business needs to be viewed holistically. In a business, the old maxim that "you're only as strong as your weakest link" is resoundingly accurate.
True success comes only when every key element works together.
But sometimes, small to medium business owners need a little assistance getting there.
How the Right Australian Small Business Consultant/Advisory Can Help You Succeed
As the NAB white paper indicates, success isn't solely defined by profit. Real success for SMEs only arrives when a company is healthy and thriving in all major respects. After all, a business can be profitable yet still utterly dysfunctional. A business owner may also achieve profitability by making enormous and unsustainable lifestyle sacrifices -- but is that truly success?
The right advisory firm can help provide the tools SMEs need to be successful across every layer of an organisation. By offering the kind of guidance smaller enterprises need to professionalize and grow, a consultant or advisory can help put success within reach.
At Nine Advisory, we focus on the following key areas which we refer to as the 9 Pillars of Success:
Governance and compliance
Leadership and management
Product and customer
People and partnerships
This is an approach that extends far beyond simple small business accounting. By working within a framework that supports all nine core elements of a business, SMEs can develop a high-performance, high-growth company that succeeds on every level -- not just profitability.
And that's a measure of success that we think almost every Australian SME would agree with.
Our Big 9 Challenge is a free resource we have designed to help you assess key areas within your current business systems that need the most attention. CLICK HERE to find out more.
Taking Your Business to the Next Level
Business success isn't defined by profitability, but rather the creation of an enterprise that works effectively and harmoniously across all nine key elements. By partnering with the right business advisor for small business, your firm can succeed according to the measures that are most important to you.
At Nine Advisory, we've seen how the traditional accounting industry works -- and we think you deserve better. We'll immerse ourselves in every aspect of your business, show you how to apply best practices and help you build an enterprise that rewards you both personally and professionally.
If you need help improving the growth and performance of your business, please don't hesitate to contact Nine Advisory today.