Success is something we all strive for in business. Yet if we’re being honest, it’s kind of hard to put a finger on what exactly success means. This makes things a bit tricky when it comes to measuring your company’s performance.

4 Ways to Measure Success

There’s no single metric that’s tied to success. However, there are certain metrics that can be used in tandem to measure if things are going well or not.

Ultimately, a company is successful when customers are happy, employees are satisfied, cash flow is positive, and revenue is trending in a positive direction. Here are some ways to dig in and analyze where your business stands:

1. CSAT Scores

Customer satisfaction might be the most important metric you can measure in your business. After all, it’s your customers who make decisions with their wallets. If they’re happy, they’re going to spend money. If they’re unhappy, they’ll find other places to use their dollars.

Thankfully, customer satisfaction is fairly easy to measure. One of the best options is to send out a simple customer satisfaction survey (also known as CSAT surveys).

CSAT surveys are usually distributed via email, though they can also be sent out using SMS or even as a link on social networking sites. They feature a simple form with your name and logo. Customers are asked a series of questions about different aspects of the business – including sales, products, onboarding, service, etc. – and give a simple answer on a five-point scale. A “1” indicates they’re very dissatisfied, while a “5” means they’re very satisfied.

The power of CSAT scores is that you can track them over time. This gives you a real-time pulse of what’s happening inside your customer base. If you had a score of 74 six months ago, but now your average CSAT score is a 93, that’s an indication of improvement.

2. Revenue Growth

Follow the money – it’ll tell you a lot about how you’re doing. Revenue growth is obviously the goal. The question is, when and how is revenue growing?

Not all growth is equal. For example, it’s fairly easy to increase revenue by running a Cyber Monday sale where you slash costs by 40 percent. It’s much more impressive to increase revenue in the middle of July when everything is full price.

Always contextualize growth. Gather the data, account for the underlying factors, and then track over time. This is a much more accurate way to measure revenue growth (and success).

3. Profitability

If your revenue and expenses are growing in lockstep with one another, you aren’t really experiencing success. In reality, you’re just creating more work for your team. Profitability has to be the ultimate pursuit. Study profit margins and how they’re trending. This will give you a feel for how things are going.

4. Media Attention and Buzz

Not all success metrics are based on cold, hard data or objective numbers. Sometimes it’s helpful to take a step back and analyze subjective measurements like media attention and buzz.

People talk about successful companies. Journalists, podcasters, bloggers, and influencers take notice of successful companies. Thus if you want to measure success, why not take “buzz” into account?

Buzz is something you feel. It’s something your team notices over time. However, there are certain ways to measure it (to a degree). You can try using social listening tools to study how many times your brand is mentioned on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Or if you have a large marketing presence, you could track the number of new backlinks pointing to your website. There are plenty of ways to lean in and study what the larger marketplace thinks about your brand.

Never Stop Growing

Success is a process – not a destination. It isn’t something you suddenly reach and then have the luxury of sitting back and relaxing. Success happens in the pursuit of growth and improvement. Never forget this.

As you pursue growth, you’ll begin to identify different factors and tactics that impact your success. You’ll also clearly see the ones that hold you back. Make a note of these and adapt your strategy over time. The proper motivation mixed with the appropriate level of discernment will push you in the right direction.