“If you can‘t measure it, you can‘t manage it.” So goes the quote from renowned management consultant, Peter Drucker. This was what 15 business owners gathered to grapple with in East Dulwich last night.
Ask most small business owners how their business is going and the response tends to be ‘Great, we’re really busy’ or ‘Not great, it’s really quite.’ The seminar was about improving on that way of measuring, getting beyond the absolute figures in the annual accounts and beginning to put together a set of numbers that the business owner can consult month to month, week to week or even day to day, to see how the business is faring.
Some financial indicators are a must but dig a little deeper and you can find really key drivers in a business. For one business it might be how many people you talk to at networking events in a week, for another it could be how many times you underestimate your quote, for a third it could be how long it takes to chase unpaid invoices. Those are the numbers to put on your Business Dashboard and start to measure and manage, like looking at the speedometer when you drive a car.
A great example of this comes from someone I recently met who runs a membership networking. When he took over the business he found that he was quite good at signing people up for membership but the business never went anywhere because people left at the same rate. Then he picked up that his members didn’t really feel connected to the group. He took on a practice of calling each member at least once every other month. It wasn’t a sales call, or an information call, it was as simple as saying ‘How’s it going?’. The upshot was people stopped leaving and it transformed the business. It takes a morning a week but to this business owner that target of one call per member every too months is critical.
Our evening together was really about trying to find those type of numbers in our businesses because they are the ones that drive the results. If you are starting this process yourself you will cover most of the bases if you begin with the following areas: sales and marketing drivers, cost drivers, cash flow drivers, customer satisfaction drivers and worker happiness drivers. Don’t try to do everything at once, you can’t. Pick a few and add more as you go on.
Inevitably in this process you need to go beyond what you do habitually. What you do habitually doesn’t need managing. And in that sense it requires pushing yourself. Congratulations to everyone prepared to confront themselves last night.
Feedback was very positive with overall value rated 9/10. It was great to see so many people there, here are some of the comments:
‘I have attended the seminar for the first time today. I have gained a huge amount of knowledge which I will definitely begin to use to improve my business. I will begin by dedicating 1 hour a week to applying my targets.’
‘These seminars give a practical guide on managing your business. Damion provides excellent content that you can take away and work on, however he ensures that you get started right there and then on the day. It’s also great to meet others in business and bounce ideas off them. Highly recommended!’
‘Great starting point and/or reminder for anyone in business to ensure they get the building blocks in place to run their business rather than letting it run them.’