In business there are only two expectations that should matter – the customer expectation of what your product or service will do, and your own expectation of what your enterprise will achieve.

But too often business owners find themselves trying to meet the expectations of others. These external expectations come from all sorts of places – the marketing company telling you to scale up, the product supplier telling you to branch out, or even your family telling you to earn more.

So what should you do in the face of undue business expectation?

Handling undue expectation

Managing expectation comes down to ensuring you have clarity about what your business offers, and what you want from it.

In other words, you should be crystal clear on:

Once you understand the answers to these questions, it becomes easier to define where you want to go and concentrate on the more important elements of the customer expectation and your own requirements of your business.

The customer expectation

Your customer expectation is defined by two critical factors: what you say you offer and what you actually deliver.

Meeting customer expectation is a non-negotiable in any successful business. It is something that business should consistently measure and change up when required.

It’s imperative because customer satisfaction determines the success, profitability and long-term future for your business.

Your expectation

When it comes to your own expectation, things tend to get more complex. The likelihood is you run a business to meet a series of personal needs including lifestyle, income and personal ambition. But in order to plan for the future you need to be clear on what exactly those expectations are.


Although we hear a lot about highly stressed, overworked business owners, this doesn’t have to be the case. Your business should be able to deliver you the lifestyle you want and deserve.

Goal setting plays a major role in positioning you to meet this expectation.

Consider the life you want, what it would involve, and then work backwards to devise the business strategies and goals that will help you get there.

This will help you determine the answer to questions about growth, scaling up, staffing, income and more.

Income and achievement

Meeting your income expectation and business achievement also comes down to creating clear and realistic goals that you can work towards.

Some people might already be meeting their income expectation, but others might be striving to earn more, or are keen to see the potential of their business realised at the next level

If income and growth is a major focus, look at what’s working now, and consider the ways you can develop further.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos once famously said there are two ways to extend any business: “Take inventory of what you’re good at and extend out from your skills. Or determine what your customers need and work backward, even if it requires learning new skills”.

The final word

While it’s tempting to succumb to the expectations of others, your role as a business owner involves only heeding the actual expectations that matter.

When you are clear on who your customer is, what they want and what you hope to achieve from the business journey, the stress of living up to others’ expectations quickly falls by the wayside.

Business Wisdom: Strategies for Success

Business Wisdom: Strategies for Success, written by renowned business strategist Clive Enever, is the ultimate guide for entrepreneurs and business executives looking to move to the next level.

The book provides readers with insights and strategies based on his 25 years of experience helping businesses of all sizes and industries.

Covering topics such as business planning, customer engagement, leadership, time management, risk mitigation, and growth, this book offers practical advice, tools, and exercises to help readers achieve their business goals.

With a focus on empowering readers to achieve a fulfilling and successful business aligned with their personal needs and aspirations.

Business Wisdom: Strategies for Success is an essential read for anyone looking to succeed in the competitive world of business.