Measure, Measure and Measure again is how the good saying goes…
But it’s rubbish in my view, unless you measure the same thing, consistently, over a decent period of time to see whether it is going up, down or sideways.
I’ll show you a bunch of metrics to track, and if you get out on to other websites you’ll probably find a bunch of others as well. Some will be better than others, and others will mean more to you than others in relation to your own business.
The key with any of them is to track them over a period of time so that you can see a trend. The trend is your friend – it will show you whether you are improving or going backwards. And that’s the key. At any point in time things will happen in your business that mean you are going well or not so well. But if you can measure certain key statistics and see that over time you are consistently getting better then your business will improve with it.
Measurement and trends will let you identify problems, adjust processes, and determine whether those things are improving your business. And an improving business is a more valuable business! And that’s the key.
Now the great thing is that if you pick some financial metrics you are interested in you can generally measure how you have gone from a historic perspective to present day and then track it in to the future. You can either do this yourself or we can do it for you by running a financial diagnostic.
As a final point, I’ve had plenty of arguments over the years with people (including dedicated finance professionals like CFO’s) that the numbers need to be perfect when you measure. I disagree. It’s often impossible to get perfect data (that’s not an excuse for rubbish data), but for me, the key is not the absolutes, it is the trends. If you can track the trend up, down or sidewise, you can make the business adjustments you need to correct. The trend really is your friend.