10 Signs of a Healthy Small Business

By Emily Suess

As a small business owner do you sometimes feel like you’re a little too close to the company to objectively determine how well it’s doing? Maybe you feel like you’re a perfectionist and your standards are too high. Or maybe you seem to be blind to the imperfections of your greatest source of pride. Either way, these ten happiness factors will help you come up with a more objective business health assessment.

1. Happy Employees

If you can boast low turnover rates and your employees feel sufficiently challenged, that’s the first sign that you’re doing something right. Content employees are productive employees that provide great customer service.

2. Happy Customers

Are you customers happy when they leave your store? Draw three columns on a sheet of paper and label them with a happy face in the first column, a neutral face in the middle column, and a sad or angry face in the third column. Then keep a tally of the expressions on your customers’ faces as the leave.

3. Defined Mission Statement

If you have a clearly defined mission statement and all your employees know where to find it, that’s a great start. Even better—can they remember the mission without a cheat sheet? Can they name the ways their job relates to that mission?

4. Expert Credibility

When the local press seeks you and your employees out as expert sources for news and commentary on your industry, pat yourself on the back. You’re doing a great job of establishing and maintaining a trusted reputation in your community.

5. Healthy Workplace

When your employees are free to express criticism as well as praise, it’s evidence of a healthy workplace culture.

6. Flexibility

Healthy small businesses are flexible and able to adjust to changing circumstances. Whether you’re short an employee on a busy day or completely overhauling your pricing structure, the willingness to embrace change and keep moving forward is a major indicator of your potential for even greater success.

7. Openness to Change

On the flip side, if you resist change and keep the same practices in place year after year because you’ve “just always done it that way” you might need to ask yourself why that is. Is it still the best model for your business, or have you failed to make adjustments along the way?

8. Frequent Applications

Another sign of a healthy business is people lining up at your door to work for you. If you advertise and receive more applications than you can handle or even get resumes when no official job has been posted, that’s definitely a good thing.

9. Consistent Profitability

It almost goes without saying, but turning out a profit at the end of the year and reinvesting that profit back in the company, is a very, very good thing.

10. Influx of Business

If you’re going to worry, one awesome thing to worry about is having more business than you can handle. Facing positive challenges like this is another sign that you’re doing something right.

So how does your business measure up?

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Emily Suess

Emily Suess is a full-time technical marketing writer in the software industry and a part-time freelance copywriter. To learn more about marketing your small business online, check out her copywriting blog, Say It With Me.


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