3 Business Milestones to Hit in Your First 5 Years



Running a successful business is definitely a marathon, rather than a sprint. Although there is tremendous energy and enthusiasm during the business conceptualization and startup phase, you need to have a long-term approach if you want your enterprise to succeed. It’s important to expect the unexpected, and be adaptable and respond quickly when obstacles stand in your way. Every venture will face major challenges as it tries to prosper and grow.

As part of your startup business plan, it’s helpful to establish key goals that you want to achieve. First year objectives are important because business viability is almost always tested during that time period. You’ll also want to set up milestones for the first five years. It’s estimated that half of enterprises do not survive that period of time. By setting and achieving your goals, you’ll be part of the of businesses that reach the key five-year mark.

Successfully Leveraging Data to Improve Efficiency

Ongoing business success is built on continually refining your operational efficiency. It’s not enough to stand still and do things the same way day after day. You have to fine-tune your operations and proactively look for innovative ways you can improve efficiency. By doing so, you’ll be able to produce more without adding staff and you’ll be able to reduce your expenses. One of the key areas where you can see substantial improvement is in your logistics and fleet management. Innovative software tools can provide a real-time window into your on the road operations and driver performance. The fleet management software and vehicle telematics will give you the data points you need to make key improvements and streamline operational efficiency.

First Repeat Customer and Significant Referral

When you are running a business, it takes a lot of time, effort, and money to get new customers. There are many reasons a business loses potential customers as well. Customer acquisition costs, which are calculated as Sales plus Marketing expenditures divided by number of new clients, can be quite substantial. When you focus on client retention and referrals, you can raise profitability and avoid the high costs of getting brand new customers. Making a sale to your first repeat customer validates the worth of the goods and services that you provide. Best of all, one repeat sale may be the start of a buying relationship that could span years. Getting your first significant referral may be cause for even more celebration. You’ll know you have made it when an existing customer is so impressed with your company that they sing your praises to another potential buyer.

Become a Recognized Authority in Your Industry

As your business grows and you continue to prosper, you’ll want to take steps to reach your goal of becoming recognized as an authority in your business category. When you achieve this stature, you’ll build a personal brand presence that will have potential customers and clients looking for your expertise and seeking to do business with your company. There are several key steps you can take to reach this milestone. First, you’ll want to create a top-tier website and produce professional content that really addresses the needs of your industry. Next, you can engage the services of a gifted public relations specialist, who can get you media interviews, guest posts on key websites and speaking engagements that will further promote your standing in your field.