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How do you measure success?

How do you measure Success?  

And the importance of defining that question  

   One of the most satisfying things for many people is crossing an item off the to-do list.  That line is probably a bigger motivation in making the to-do list than actually getting the things done!  When you are ready to take it to the next level by growing, creating more value, becoming more profitable, and achieving more overall business success you will depend upon testing and measuring of key metrics.

Why businesses are started…

A lot of businesses are started because of an opportunity presenting itself. Someone is really good at something. Or really likes to do something. Or there is a solution to a common problem.

These are all great reasons to start a business. But how do you determine if that business is successful?

How businesses keep going…

A lot of people I meet (and my former self as an employee in my first few jobs) rely on the “we’ve still got money in the bank after the bills are paid” parameter.  After all, we’re doing what we do and can do it again next week!

This is a HUGE success but not the end game.

 

Where businesses grow…

At the point of which the business is proven to be viable, people start to think about how they can make more money or do what they do on a larger scale.  Words like growth, profitability, efficiency, and systems are used whether they are understood in the context of their business or not.

While there are a lot of steps to getting on the right growth mindset (entering accurate data, identifying trends, setting goals) one of the easiest ways to jump in is understanding what success looks like.  It’s probably something you already ask yourself or your team each week. 

What questions are you asking?

How many emails did you send?

How many people called you?

How many dogs were adopted?

How much money did you make on that one project?

How many people showed up?

How many billable hours do your employees put in vs non-billable?

Did you get home in time for dinner with the family?

How businesses continue to grow…

By understanding what a successful day, week, month, or year looks like to you, you get the next question that can help you grow.

  1. If the answer to your question doesn’t meet your expectations or goals…Maybe you need to set more realistic expectations? Maybe your efforts need to be redirected or you just need to try harder?  Maybe you need to collect better business data to analyze or better understand your industry?  Maybe you need to be asking a different question entirely?
  2. If the answer to your question meets your expectations… What can you do next? How can you do even better?  Maybe you set your expectations too low and need to reach a little higher?  Maybe you’ve smashed that goal with time and attention and are ready to move on to the next?  Review your goals and vision and line up the next target.
  3. If the answer isn’t meaningful at all… You may have found that you don’t have the right question. Is the information giving you the encouragement and answers to make the next move?  Perhaps you need to tweak your question?  Or the data that you are collecting?

You don’t know if you don’t ask!

By testing and measuring we begin to understand if the efforts we take are the right ones.  Time is money in this day and age, it is very easy to get sidetracked.  Focus your time and attention on what is going to bring you the most value for your time investment.

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Want help brainstorming?  Testing and measuring metrics is an area I particularly love to geek out on!  It is what saved the business I was at during the recession and has helped countless others to redirect time and attention to increase profitability. 

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