Are you a copywriter, photographer, web designer, or marketing executive? If you work in creative or new media, it's essential to have a standout online portfolio. Clients don't just want to see a list of your accomplishments on your CV; they want cold hard proof of your talent and professionalism. First impressions are just as [...]
Numbers Do Count!
We put so much heart into our businesses, nurture them lovingly, thrill at their growth spurts, anguish through their hard times. We're inventive, creative, adaptable and persistent. Our business is about our life, our lifestyle, the people we touch along the way, the difference we make in the lives of others. It's never about the bottom line dollars alone.
Perhaps these are the reasons why so few women in business take measuring seriously enough. Numbers are boring, often difficult to get right, an effort to gather and collect, and sometimes numbers are even a little threatening. And - if we're really honest - the majority of people actually aren't all that sure how to use numbers properly in their business.
Maybe the idea of measuring awakens memories of chalky old maths teachers, "rank and yank" employee performance management systems, or sleep-inducing spreadsheets swimming with multitudes of senseless numbers.
How do you feel when you think about numbers, about measuring things in your business?
Why do you think you're not measuring success - beyond the traditional financial numbers like profit - in your business?
Why aren't you measuring the return you get from your marketing, in terms of leads per marketing dollar you spend? What stops you from measuring the percentage of leads you convert into new customers? Where are your measures of customer loyalty, product or service profitability, how well you use your time in your business, what your customers really think of your service, the size of the difference you're making in the world?
What are the results you care most about in your business, other than profit and revenue and costs? What are the results within your business activities that are the amplifiers of your business success?
If these results matter, then rest assured there's a way of measuring them meaningfully that is far better than not measuring them at all!
Measures keep you focused.
Measuring the right things in your business keeps your attention on what matters most to business success, rather than letting your attention meander and snap from distraction to time-wasting distraction.
If you find yourself thinking at the end of the day or the end of the week "where did my time go?", it's a clue that your attention may not be sticking to what really matters most.
Measures give you feedback.
Measuring regularly gives you a balanced and objective reality check on where your business is truly at, so you don't succumb to fluffy conclusions based on what happened today or last week or what your loudest customer said.
If your emotions about your business are up one week and down the next and you find you're reacting to events in time instead of responding to patterns over time, it's a clue that you're using the wrong information to drive your decisions.
Measures are like a fulcrum.
Measuring is a way to leverage your efforts so you get bigger improvements in your bottom line for the same or less time and money, not frittering it away on exciting ideas that don't actually work.
If you can't know what return you get for your advertising campaigns, your investment in personal development, hiring that new virtual assistant, it's a clue that you're wasting time and money in your business.
A sharper focus, regular and balancing feedback, and a leverage-boosting fulcrum. We all need more of that, especially in small business. That's what measuring does for us.
What's one result that matters enough to start measuring now in your business?
You might be interested in this upcoming event...
Understand the fundamentals of good financial management.
When it comes to business, money really does 'make the world go 'round'.
Managing your cash flow and your accounts properly is as important as getting new business. Even if you choose to hire a bookkeeper to manage your books, understanding the fundamentals of good financial management will put you ahead of the game.
This upcoming three-part online course will look at the critical aspects that underpin the financial management aspect of your small business.