Profits may be the most popular metric of measuring the success
of a business venture but it is by no means the only (or the best)
method for measuring success. Most start-ups are not profitable at
the beginning of operation and many are not profitable for years.
While monetizing a business is an important goal there are other
important metrics that can be used to judge the performance of the
company beyond the simple bottom line.
Social Responsibility – The impact a
company has on society as a whole may warrant its existence even if
it does not make a profit. This is why non-profit organizations
exist and why they are able to source funding for their missions.
Even businesses that operate for profit may have such a positive
environmental or social impact that the level of profits alone
cannot fully measure their success. Take for example a utility
company that invests heavily in renewable energy and
experiences losses in two years following that investment. The
short term losses, may be overshadowed by long term impact of the
transition to a cleaner source of energy.
Innovation – Ideas are valuable and great
ideas even more so. Not all ideas will be the next big thing, but
innovation requires brainstorming and trial and error before
genuinely useful new products and services are invented. The
process of innovation can be expensive and yield little or no
monetary profits in the short term. It however, is an essential
part of business which is why some companies have whole departments
dedicated to research and development. The ideas hatched today may
actually be the cash cows of tomorrow and/or may inspire the next
wave of technology developments.
Growth Potential – It is possible for a
business to develop and polish the products and services that it
offers before it is able to monetize these goods and services.
During that period the business may garner fans, users, supporters
and attract investors, but may not be able to match the enthusiasm
with sales. Sometimes the right business model just has to be
figured out. In these situations the potential of the business
means that profitability is expected eventually so the company
should not be written off. It is a risk but the potential rewards
are also high.
Customer Service – More and more
businesses are being judged not only by what they provide but by
how well they treat current and potential customers. It is easier
than ever for people who interact with businesses to publicly
express and share their experiences – good or bad. Businesses
with superior customer service gain a good reputation and stand to
gain more business through referrals and repeat customers. On the
contrary, if a business neglects to respect and treat customers
well, it may face a lot of negative publicity on blogs and social
Let's be clear, companies are judged by the bottom line.
Profitability will be an unavoidable metric used to measure your
success in business. Bear in mind however that profit is not all
that is important. There are many other factors to consider in
making your business a true success and ignoring these factors may
discourage an entrepreneur on the verge of success.
The Law Society of British Columbia’s Cloud Computing Working Group issued its Final Report on Cloud Computing on January 27, 2012, amending an earlier consultation report approved by the "Benchers" on July 15, 2011.
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