Christian Business Owners: Are You Doing a Good Job?

Mar 21, 2017, Written by Sue Miley

How do Christian business owners know if they are doing a good job?  You own the business, so there really isn’t anyone there to tell you.  Besides keeping up with the rest of the world, we tend to begin to think our own performance is measured by the P&L of the business or the cash in the bank.

Fundamentally, this doesn’t work well for us business-wise or spiritually.  And, actually it can mess with our confidence and self-esteem so it isn’t helpful to our mental health either.

If we can’t use profit as a measure, then how do we know if we are doing a good job?  I think it is fun and wise to set up our own score card.  As a small business owner, we are running the business.  So, to determine how well we are doing we have to look at our individual definition of business success.

Christian Business Owners May Define Success Differently

Over the last couple of years, my business grew a lot.  We have added a few people and we have focused on a higher concentration of consulting, recruiting and marketing services than purely business coaching.

My first instinct when I was developing our budget for the year was to try to match last year’s growth.  After all, aren’t we supposed to keep getting bigger, faster every year?

I let my goals sit for a week or two and then realized that would not be success to me.  I may be able to bring in the revenue, but what is more important to me is:

  • Getting a good distribution of work for each member of the team.  Are we growing their areas so they are challenged and learning?
  • Diversifying our client base so we do not have any one or two clients that would hurt us badly if we lost them.
  • Gaining more time for team leadership internally.  We have a few new people or new to their position.  I want them to be successful and they need time.
  • More feedback to our clients on what is working, what isn’t and plans to keep their business healthy.
  • Staying true to our ideal client.  Occasionally, we don’t follow our model and it usually doesn’t work as well.

Our model is to bring people in through coaching.  When we do this, we learn their business from the vision on up.  By starting with coaching, then our consulting solutions have a point of difference. We have the skills AND we know your business.  We can do this really well and more efficiently because we have both of these perspectives.

To make this long story not any longer, I changed my goals.  At the end of the year, I will feel successful if:

  • I have a small % growth – I do want to keep growing!
  • I have a shift in our services mix – I broke it out to different percentages of our total revenue for each service.
  • I reserve a certain % of time for leading our team and working on the business.  This may mean limiting client hours…ugh…that is hard for me.
  • Implementing a semi-annual business review for core clients – our top 10.
  • And bringing in 90% of new clients through coaching.  I want to say 100%, but there are always exceptions.

At the end of the year, we would have a strong financial year with a healthier mix of services and clients, a fully engaged and challenged team, and my time will be more balanced.  That would mean a good job to me.

I can see us exceeding our revenue goal, however, we are focused on one or two really big clients, and my hours are all “IN” the business.  Yes, we may have a pretty P&L on December 31.  But, our business, our team, and I will all be less healthy.

How about your business?  If you took profit out of the metrics (you can add it back at the end) what would success look like in your business?  What is healthy and unhealthy in your business right now?  Do you have a turnover problem?  Are your systems antiquated?  Do you have an employee engagement issue?

I would recommend you assess your business (check out our Clarity Kit for a great baseline assessment) and set some success factors that you can quantify, however, that are not just about maximizing revenue and profit.  I think once you set these other objectives, you can still add on a growth number.  It just hopefully will be as a result of your activities, not drive your activities.

Share with us in the comments how you measure your own performance in your business!

If you would like some help setting up goals for your business, give us a call at 225-341-4147 to discuss our goal-setting coaching program.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.