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Every Business Owner Should Define Business Success

Every entrepreneur and small business owner wants to be “successful” but success doesn’t look the same to everyone. To be successful, it’s necessary to first understand what success looks like to you and create a plan to get there. No matter what, entrepreneurs can expect to work hard and take risks to reach their goals.


Defining Business Success


There are many different ways to define success for businesses. Yes, businesses want to be profitable but there should be other financial goals as well. For example, a small business may define success as being able to provide a solid, living wage salary to its employees, or the ability to donate a certain percentage of business profits to a local charity. Other financial goals may include taking the company public, reaching a certain level of sales revenue, or annual growth.


Apart from financial goals, small business owners may have other ideas about what would make their business successful, including:

  • A business that conducts itself with honesty and integrity

  • A business that provides a high-quality work-life balance for its employees

  • A business that contributes to its community in meaningful ways

  • A business that operates in an eco-friendly way

  • A business that has a strong, positive company culture

  • A business that treats is employees like family

  • A business that employees feel passionately about

  • A business that has loyal, happy customers

  • A business that has a high number of followers and interactions on social media

  • A business that is an industry leader

  • A business that provides quality products/services that fill a market need

How to create a plan for success


Once you have studied your industry, competition, and target audience, it will be much easier to figure out what success looks like to you and your business. But, saying what success is to you isn’t enough without a plan to get there. At the broadest level, you will want to create a strategy with specific goals that need to be met in order to reach your definition of success.

  • Write a list of short, medium, and long-term business goals. Make sure each goal is worthy, realistic, specific, and measurable and helps you achieve your mission or they will end up being meaningless.

  • Next, you should map out how you will achieve each one with specific, practical steps.

  • Pro tip: If you find that there is a common theme among your goals, you could be on the way to identifying your vision.

  • Establish markers that you will be able to use to measure success.

How to achieve your business goals


Once your goals are established, you will need to apply your goals to your daily business operations to make them happen. The steps you take to reach your goals should be integrated into the way you do business. Here are some steps you can take to make this happen:

  • Communicate your goals to your entire team.

  • Start with an immediate focus on your one-year goals and then add in steps that can be taken to reach your five and ten-year goals.

  • Break down and assign specific tasks to different employees who are best suited to accomplishing the tasks needed to achieve each goal.

  • Create a system to measure progress being made on each of your goals.

  • Do a status check on your goals each year and don’t be afraid to make adjustments. If one or more of your goals are turning out to be unachievable or undesirable, it’s time to switch gears.

  • Don’t forget the bigger picture. While it’s necessary to break your goals down into small, measurable steps; it’s equally important to remember why you got into business in the first place. During your annual review, do a gut check to make sure that the goals you have been working on are helping you meet your vision and mission.

  • Celebrate your accomplishments when you complete a goal. This is the best way to thank your team and help everyone stay motivated to meet more goals on your road to success.

Partnering with Makai HR


Most successful businesses need employees to help them grow. Once employees are brought onboard, HR comes into the picture. If you aren’t interested in an in-house HR team, we’ve got you covered with HR outsourcing! When you partner with Makai HR you can get on with the business you are trying to grow while we take care of your employee needs from payroll to taxes, health insurance/benefits and worker’s compensation. You also gain peace of mind that you are compliant with all of Hawaii’s employer laws (if you’ve ever looked you know that the list is very long). When choosing a PEO to partner with, there are many things to consider including cost, services and technology solutions.


With the cost of doing business in Hawaii at record highs, we know how important it is to keep labor costs in line with revenue. Our plans are priced competitively and include value-added services like time-in/time-out systems. Our three tiers of PEO service plans are tailored to the size of your business and specific needs. We offer a 100% paperless solution which means that your employees can manage their needs through a computer, tablet or phone. We can truly improve your employees’ work benefits while freeing you up to run your business.

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