20 Signs That You’re a Success in Your Industry

industry success

Running a small business can be confusing and the path forward is often unclear. Many small business owners are hanging on the brink of being just successful enough to not go out of business.  In otherwords, many are just getting by.

If that’s the case, should you keep the business open in hopes of future success or just close up shop? And on the flip side, what if your business is doing well and profiting? What is that moment of truth that tells you, as a small business owner, that your company is a success in your industry? Below are 20 signs that you’ve got something beyond mere survival.

20 Signs That You’re an Industry Success

1. Your Company Earns Money While You’re on Vacation

Going on vacation and earning money at the same time means you have built a company, not just a job. This means that your business is at the level where, during your absence, it just doesn’t survive, but thrives.

2. You Show Up on the First Page of Search Results

The new main streets for the digital age are search engines like Bing and Google. Some business owners feel that when they organically show up on the first page of their favorite search engine, they have made it. And there’s truth to that, because it means you have risen to the top when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization).

3. You Change a Customer’s Life

Many small business owners seek to make a difference in the world through their businesses. When a customer writes or visits the office to tell you the difference you have made in their life, it’s one of those moments you know that you are unstoppable.

4. Clients Find You

When people you do not know and have never contacted start purchasing from your business, then you can be sure that you’ve developed your reach. In fact, your product may have become such that people cannot do without it, hence the avalanche of patronage.

5. You Know You’re Not Alone

A time will come when you finally realize that many other small business owners share the same problems as you. It is at this time, when you have become a success in your industry, where competitors start copying your strategies and principles. It’s at this point that you’re sure of progress.

6. Customers Refer You

The highest compliment is when one of your customers refers another person to your business. Customers will freely recommend your product when they know that you have what it takes to satisfy your customers. This could be a sign that your business is booming.

7. You Bounce Back

When you go through bad times and you are able to bounce back to success, this means you’ve attained a good level of resilience. Successful companies can recover despite economic recessions. This should be your goal.

8. News Media Take Notice

A news article publishes your brand and helps to get the word out, and it flushes out other “believers” besides you. This means that one advertisement can greatly increase your company’s visibility, enticing clients from all walks of life to buy into your brand, thus boosting business.

9. You Fire Customers

When your business is successful enough, it can let go of customers that are unprofitable. Your business can get to a stage where you cannot deal with all the customers you have. Therefore, focusing on customers that can contribute more to your income can make your business more profitable.

10. You Achieve Positive Cash Flow

This implies that the business has recorded success, whereby it can reinvest its profits for future growth. Here, your business has grown so much that you gain high paying clients. When this happens, reinvesting in your business becomes easy.

11. A Publisher Asks You to Write a Book

Even in the digital age, when you write a book you instantly add to your company’s expertise. Publishers will want to woo you to write a book that has to do with your industry because you have become an expert. This increases your online reputation and what follows is nothing other than more clients.

12. Demand From Customers is in Abundance

The time has come when customers all over the globe are now demanding your product. When there is very a high rate of demand, this means that they are getting their money’s worth from your brand.

13. Partnership

You’ve arrived when you are able to sponsor grand projects in your community, state or country. You can now attract smaller brands that will come under the umbrella of your brand by partnering with you.

14.You Have an Exceptional Team

There is a point when you realize your employees are exceptional and that your partners are selling your products in abundance. This means that your hiring choices were on point, which is why your company is yielding great results.

15.Playing As a Team or Sharing and Collaborating With Other Lines of Business

You ensure that sales intelligence is available to other functions within the company, like marketing, customer service and operations. When all departments of a company are armed with the same information, it allows for a much more cohesive unit and a more highly functioning machine.

16. Accountability Via Goal Setting and Milestone Achievement

You never toy with accountability. Smart sales teams define sales milestones, including the use of available sales intelligence data. Good business intelligence has been proven to be valuable and effective, so you are taking full advantage of it.

17. Know Your Opponent or Keep Your Sales Intelligence Intelligent

You don’t just do reconnaissance on future opponents at the beginning of the season. It’s a constant process, with scouts posted all over the country, reporting back constantly, and the analysis never ends. If a team is working with outdated information, that’s trouble.

18. You Keep Your Data Organized and in One Place

Your most effective sales teams capture sales intelligence on their prospects, customers and markets and organize all of the data in one place, like a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution. This makes it accessible to everyone who needs it.

19. You Operate on an International Level

You do not operate on just a national level. This means that your business has transcended into a global one. Your branches are spread throughout the world. This shows that you have a universal vision for your business.

20. Your Team is Second to None

Your employees are unbeatable wherever they go, because you invest a whole lot in their personal development. Plus, you don’t overlook their training on business development. This shows that providing customers with top notch service is your priority.

Now think about your company; does it have the characteristics of a winning team? If so, great, but there are probably areas where you think there can be improvement.

If not, there’s no magic bullet that will make everything fall into place. But you can take steps to become a champion and a success in your industry.

Crystal Ball Photo via Shutterstock


Valentine Belonwu Valentine Belonwu is from Nigeria and is the Founder of Business Gross, a site designed to help individuals understand that the economic and political climate is crucial when mapping out a quality financial strategy in their lives.

24 Reactions
  1. That’s an extensive list, and quite comprehensive. I’m trying to think of something to add to the conversation, but you’ve covered most of it already.

    How about when complimentary companies (services) refer business to you? I have found that to be hugely powerful in growing a small business. Creating win/win partnerships with complimentary services via referrals.


  2. I feel that “Studying industry news & developments regularly” can be a solid addition to the list.


  3. Good one. Firing customers and positive cash flow go hand in hand. Thanks

  4. Annette Proctor

    I see these as key signs for any success in business and Private life.

  5. Great list! My favorites are Firing a Customer and Achieving Positive Cash Flow. Two financial indicators that Are often overlooked.

  6. Thank you for the article. We are starting to hit many of these which validates our busienss.

  7. Love this post, Valentine. Thanks for taking the time to write it for us. 🙂


  8. These are great! I would also like to add one. I feel like a business is successful if they employees at that company are happy. I’ve been at a couple of different places, and the businesses that are successful and improve the most have employees that want to be there, and want to see success.

  9. Inefficiency Hitman

    Great list! I love how shareholder value is not on here but positive cash flow is.

  10. Insightful, ty!

    More suggestions: What do you think off “You are able to focus your effort where you deliver maximum value to the enterprise” ? This means right delegation, real teamwork and reduced waste.

  11. Very well done Valentine. After reading this I think I’m on the right track! Important to notice these kinds of things to balance out what we want to improve.

  12. Great list – and it can be used the other way too:
    “What do I need to do to achieve each one of these scenarios in my business?”
    Would give some great structure to a coaching programme for a growing business.

  13. Excellent post Valentine. I really liked this blog post. I think once the employer got the excellent team to work for him/her, they made it the success 🙂

  14. Superb, Thank you for a wonderful article

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