Q:

How do you evaluate business success?

A:

Judging business success begins with a combination of a sound business idea and a good understanding of the market including customers. Then, setting success criteria helps businesses determine if its efforts lead to success, according to IBM.

IBM's four-step evaluation process applies to projects, but the principles apply to evaluating business success in general. The process is:

  1. Identify stakeholders
  2. Define business goals and objectives for the business and its customers
  3. Identify constraints that limit options
  4. Derive success criteria that relate to business objectives

IBM says the above criteria help a business defines success at its start up. Forbes Magazine adds that businesses need to be adept at learning from feedback in addition to metrics. Businesses need to recognize what works, what does not, why customers choose their companies and why others do not. Understanding and using this knowledge helps businesses adapt to change.

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