Guide to Defining Success

Guide to Defining Success

What does success look like to you and for your venture?

This is an important question to answer for several reasons:

  • So you know where you want to get to
  • So you can track progress, and celebrate success along the way
  • So you can recognise quickly when you’re off track
  • To help you to tell your story, be credible and gain support

Your venture can only succeed if you do, and the impact of your venture will depend on the success of your business model. For this reason it is useful to think about what success means for you from a personal, enterprise and impact perspective, as well as at various stages of development.

What does personal success look like to you?

  • What is most important to you in a non-work environment?
  • What is most important to you in a work environment?
  • What role does work play in your life?
  • What are your ‘prime accomplishments’? These are things that you loved doing and that inspired you, whether or not others rewarded or recognised the accomplishment.

What would it mean for your enterprise to be successful?

  • Financial sustainability?
  • Scale / market share / sales?
  • Customer satisfaction?
  • Product (or service) range / quality / price?
  • Team wellbeing?

What impact do you need to achieve to be successful?

  • Scale and depth of impact
  • Longevity of impact
  • Number of beneficiaries
  • Beneficiary satisfaction / referrals
  • Partners / stakeholder support

Understanding what success looks like will enable you to recognise whether you are on track to achieve your goals. Equally important is knowing the warning signs for when you are veering off track. These ‘screen out criteria’ indicate that your venture is developing in conflict with your purpose and require a stop or significant redesign. Examples could include:

  • Dependency rather than self-sufficiency
  • Workers earn less than living wage
  • Unacceptable environmental impact

Download the model below to map out what success will look like from an impact, enterprise and personal perspective over the next 1-5 years, as well as what constitutes screen out criteria for you.

Try it out

Download the template here to try it out for yourself.

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