Small Business Management: Perceiving your Own Success
The economy is showing signs of improving, and while it is a rocky road, it’s still improving during a time when the global economy has been doing even worse. Add to that improving stats in almost every area, according to a recent Small Business Trends article, and you would think that self confidence would be on the rise. This is not the case, and as the article goes on to cite, a 6% drop in self designations as “extremely” or “very successful” has taken place since 2009. This is alarming, considering that if there was ever a time for business owners to feel like they are doing well, it should be as they persevere through an economic down turn and begin to see faint light at the end of the tunnel.
Part of feeling successful is being able to perceive your achievements. While small business performance indicators are returning to pre-recession levels, business owners are apparently not perceiving themselves as successful, potentially because of their innate wariness in the wake of the worst parts of the recession. Part of this stems from the difficulty of gaining perspective on something in the middle of being worked on. It’s tough to jump outside of yourself and judge yourself fairly, especially when there are so many potential business you can compare yours to, and successful entrepreneurs to measure yourself against.
Seek perspective from sources you respect. When you are feeling insecure about your business performance, it’s important to separate the issues that you perceive from those which may actually exist. The difference between being insecure and being aware of issues that need to realistically be fixed can be elucidated through seeking secondary opinions from people whose judgement you trust. This is just one of the reasons why it’s a great idea to have a small business mentor around to help you avoid common pitfalls and keep your business moving in the right direction. The benefit of experience is knowing the difference between when something could be better and when something actually needs immediate improvement.
Set goals that are achievable but challenging. One reason that small business owners can sometimes become unimpressed with their progress is because they fail to achieve goals that they set for themselves that are simply not realistic. If you aren’t able to reach any of the goals that you have set for yourself, ask yourself if that is because you aren’t doing well or if it’s because you are reaching for something that requires more time than you are giving it. A solid ability to set goals is one of the keys of high level management ability, so it is worth taking the time to reflect and fine tune.
Photo Credit to fdecomite on Flickr