Be it a 500-crore company, a 5-crore company or a 5-lac company, each can be an extremely successful venture depending on its criteria of success. I define success parameters differently.
1) Since I run a consulting company, we are very clear about things we WILL do and things we will NOT do as part of our consulting services. The success factor is to stand by this decision consistently. Often we realize that we are very clear about what NOT to do rather than what to do! But for me a successful business is one that is clear about what it wants to do and even more clear about what it does NOT want to do.
2) A consulting company's success depends on the success of its clients. If my clients are successful, I am successful. Am I adding value to my clients that makes them successful? What is my contribution to the success of my client? Every time a client comes back to say how our service was useful, we earn a success brownie.
3) A consulting company has to have the best people in the trade. For most start-ups, it is a challenge to attract the best talent. But every time good people come on board, it's a huge success for the company. When people "want" to work for you, it is a huge compliment for your brand. On the other hand, when internally people are highly motivated to work and continue to grow with the organization, it is a bigger compliment to the success of an organization.
4) Another success parameter is execution of dream projects. Every organization and every working professional should have its list of dream projects to work on. Each dream project accomplished is a tick on your success parameters. It is another matter that some of these dream projects have a very hard landing, but all the same - you at least have zero regrets about not working on those. And, all the better if you come out of them wiser than before!
5) Dream clients are next on my criteria of success. For a consulting company, it is the list of clients that makes a difference. If you have an enviable client's list, you have a blank check. Clients lead to more clients, and more clients lead to more business - simple equation. Well, on after thoughts - it is not that simple. A lot of hard work goes into earning client loyalty. And that by itself is a huge benchmark of success.
Size of the company and volume of business are just the visible outcome; they are poor determinants of success. So what are your success criteria?