Monthly Archives: October, 2015

Which Metrics are Worth Tracking?

October 28th, 2015 Posted by Business is ART, Business Plan, Goal, Key Performance Indicator, KPI, Objective, Strategic Planning 0 thoughts on “Which Metrics are Worth Tracking?”

The best way for successful businesses to stay at the top of their industries is to define and track their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Growing businesses can also use KPIs to understand how they can improve their operations and procedures, thus allowing them to grow even more.

In short, understanding how KPIs affect your company really is a key to business success. Even if you have an amazing product or service, a stellar business plan and a whole lot of talented individuals who can help you reach the top, it will all be for naught if you don’t define what success means to you, track your progress and learn how to improve from certain key metrics.

But which metrics are worth tracking?

Photo courtesy of gratisography.com

Photo courtesy of gratisography.com

The answer is hard to pin down to an exact science, and it relies heavily upon your understanding of your business and its goals. There is no one-size-fits-all list of metrics to track, but the following guide can help you narrow the list down to a manageable number of key metrics to follow.

Know Your KPIs

There certainly are a whole lot of metrics out there, and capturing them is the easy part. The hard part is knowing which metrics can help your business improve and which of them are just a bunch of meaningless data. The trick is to understand which metrics are important to you, and which should be ignored altogether.

Start with the end in mind. What is your vision? What are your business goals and objectives? Do you want more traffic going to your website? Do you want to generate more leads? Maybe your goal is to decrease the time it takes to accomplish certain tasks or to increase customer engagement.

Whatever you determine your goals to be, the metrics you track should directly relate to them. If you want more traffic coming to your website, track metrics that relate to your web analytics. If you are looking to generate leads, track the conversion rate metrics of your lead generation techniques, and if you want to save time, track the time it takes to complete tasks and see where you can optimize your processes.

Just Don’t Waste Your Own Time

We live in a world of data. Virtually everything in the world can be recorded and turned into some sort of a statistic, but that doesn’t mean you have to track and analyze every single piece of information available to you.

It might be tempting to overload your workers with any and all data that you collect, but a lot of it just won’t apply to your business goals. The metrics that you want to follow are those that will allow you to identify changes that need to made in your business. For small businesses, that’s probably just a handful.

Before bothering to record and analyze any metric, try asking yourself the following questions:

  • Will knowing this information help my company make more money?
  • Will analyzing this data help me to identify redundant processes and increase efficiency?
  • Will understanding this metric help me make better decisions?
  • Does this support my business plan, strategy and vision?

Make Smart Decisions

Whenever you make the decision to track a metric, it should be done because you have a specific goal in mind and never for the mere reason of you having the ability to track it. Key metrics exist to make your business better, not to create more work for you and your employees.

In Business is ART, I provide you with over 50 predefined KPIs to choose from, with a string word of caution NOT to choose many of them. You may want to define a few of your own, but keep it simple.

To learn more about how you can make your metrics work for you, and not the other way around, get Business is ART or contact us today.

 

How do you define success?

October 26th, 2015 Posted by Business is ART, Business Plan, Goal, Key Performance Indicator, KPI, Objective, Strategic Planning, Strategy 0 thoughts on “How do you define success?”

At the risk of sounding like a self-promoting narcissist, for this week’s theme of “Success” in my weekly newsletter entitled “The Weekly See 7” I quote myself from Business Is ART because a section in the book and a statement made within it is foundational to success.

“It is not so important how you define success. It is critical that you do.”

Photo courtesy of gratisography.com

Photo courtesy of gratisography.com

In other words, success means different things to different people. How you define it is completely inconsequential because the definition has to be your own, not anyone else’s idea of success.

But unless you define what success means to you, how do you know whether or not you have achieved it? How do you know what else you need to do to reach it?

A way to do that is to start with the end in mind. What is your vision? Now, provide some details about that vision. This detailed view is referred to as the painted picture. Now that you have the vision and the painted picture, define measurable objectives or key performance indicators that when tracked and measured, tell you how you are doing in achieving what you have defined as success.

In this week’s See 7, the “P’s” have it and we cover a variety of topics relative to success, from “Purpose” to “People” and several things in between.

Please check it out and tell us – How do YOU define success?

What is your level of engagement?

October 24th, 2015 Posted by Engagement, Relationships, Significance 0 thoughts on “What is your level of engagement?”

The latest post in my personal blog, #Significance is about how my new bride continues to teach me things about love, and especially about being loved, that I never realized was important or missing from my life.

Photo courtesy of gratisography.com

Photo courtesy of gratisography.com

You can read more about it by clicking here but basically it discusses how there once was a period in my life in which I frequently commuted to a city 635 miles away from home. And although it was a big part of my life, those closest to me showed little interest in it. No one was actively engaged in it. Although I didn’t consciously recognize it at the time, in hindsight, it bothered me…a lot.

This personal experience led me to wonder. We measure things like employee engagement and customer engagement, which is all about them showing you some love. But how engaged are you with them? Are you sure? What can you do to make it better?

To Delegate or Not to Delegate?

October 22nd, 2015 Posted by Business is ART, Delegate, Inspiration, Leadership 0 thoughts on “To Delegate or Not to Delegate?”
Photo courtesy gratisography.com

Photo courtesy gratisography.com

To delegate or not to delegate? Would someone else please answer the question?

I’m a big delegator and it isn’t because I’d rather be on the couch enjoying a pizza with extra sauce (I would!). It’s because time is the greatest asset we have and I treasure it. Could I change the oil in my car? Yes. But why would I when the shop beside the grocery store can do it in minutes while I’m on my way to pick up the ingredients for a fresh homemade pizza…I mean salad?

How do you know when to delegate? How do you know when not to? I’m not sure there is any golden rule that fits all scenarios, so delegation needs to be considered in each situation.

Let’s list a few reasons leaders don’t delegate:

  • When they believe they can do it faster and better than anyone else
  • When they don’t trust their team
  • When they want all of the glory
  • In an emergency

We could continue listing more things and probably end up with pages and pages of…excuses…because that’s what they are. But do you notice anything that stands out among these four bullets? One of them is not like the others.

Generally speaking it is much better to lead by inspiring others to follow, but once in awhile emergencies occur and the leader must make command decisions on the spot – decisions for which there is no time for delegation. One of the reasons you are in a position of leadership is because you have the ability to do so. Embrace it – don’t abuse it.

But the other three examples actually reflect negatively on the leader not the team.

You’re the Best – You got to the position you are in because you are good at what you do (or you have pictures of someone in a compromising position under questionable circumstances).

Congratulations. We get it. OK? Of course you can do some things faster and better than anyone on your team. That’s part of what got you there. But now that you are there, your job is to lead, not to keep doing the things you used to do. Allow your team to grow and learn by doing the things you have already mastered and don’t let it worry you if they learn to do it better and faster than you.

I’ve known many leaders who feel threatened when that occurs, but they shouldn’t. When the team members learn to do it better and faster than their leader, guess what? The leader is doing his or her job! The leader looks great!

People proudly announce, “That’s the best leader I’ve ever seen!” and you’re off to your next big promotion.

As Ray Davies of the classic rock group The Kinks sings, “Paranoia big destroy-yah.” Don’t let that paranoia destroy you – and your team in the process.

The Business is ART Show at TrueChatInc.com

The Business is ART Show at TrueChatInc.com

Trust – If you don’t trust your team, whose fault is that? Yours. Either you have foolishly held on to a team that is truly unworthy of trust, or you are simply too untrusting. In either case, you have a problem. So if you find yourself consistently NOT delegating because you don’t trust your team that is all on you. No one will play the violin for you as you wail about having no work/life balance.

Glory, glory – Finally, if you don’t delegate because you want all the glory to yourself…get used to a lonely life. As the saying goes, we are all in it together and none of us get out alive.

Epilogue – Creative types are among those who have the most difficult time delegating. “How can I let someone else make my baby? It’s MY baby!” Here, Brian Casel provides a process entitled “How to Delegate When you are a Creative Type.” If this describes you, go check it out.

You’re Fired

October 22nd, 2015 Posted by Employment 0 thoughts on “You’re Fired”
Photo courtesy gratisography.com

Photo courtesy gratisography.com

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has been in the media a lot lately. Much more now that he is a GOP candidate than ever before.

With each story, interview or sound bite I hear, I can’t help but hear him say “You’re fired,” his famous catch-phrase from the show “The Apprentice”, in which most contestants appear as shallow, heartless cut-throats willing to do anything in order to knock out their opponents.

But in the real business world, you have to be much more careful and thoughtful. The firing of an individual can take a devastating emotional toll on both the person being fired and the person doing the firing. It costs real money to terminate someone’s employment and find a replacement. It can also open the former employer up to public and legal scrutiny.

On the other hand, it can be the most healthy thing to happen to both the business and the former employee. Whatever the end result, do take a great deal of care before going there, but don’t let that care keep you from getting there if it is indeed the right thing to do.

This topic is covered in my book, Business is ART, but it is also the theme for the October 19, 2015 edition of my weekly newsletter, “The See 7”, where I provide you with summaries and links to at least 7 online articles, blogs or videos relative to the topic. Please click here to go to the See 7.

Meanwhile, what is the worst firing situation in which you have ever been involved, either as the one being fired or the one doing the firing?

Bad Day? You Know Nothing

October 22nd, 2015 Posted by Inspiration, Significance 0 thoughts on “Bad Day? You Know Nothing”
- Jon Umstead

– Jon Umstead

If the latest post in my personal blog, ‪‪#‎significance‬‬‬, doesn’t inspire you to do something, or at least make you realize that you really don’t have it so bad, then nothing will.

It isn’t because of my writing, I guarantee you. It is because of the story of the person featured in the post (and others like him).

Grab a tissue, then please, go check this out (posted 10/17/2015). Afterward, I dare you to have a bad day.

What inspires you? What makes you go for it despite the odds and critics?

All About Business is Art

October 12th, 2015 Posted by Business is ART, Business Plan, Goal, Key Performance Indicator, KPI, Leadership, Objective, Strategic Planning, Strategy 0 thoughts on “All About Business is Art”
bia2_360

Hard Cover Copies of Business Is ART Arrive

In this, the inaugural post at the new and improved Business is ART Blog, I’d like to take a moment to tell you about Business is ART (BIA).

Business is ART is designed for anyone looking to increase his/her odds of success. It teaches readers a simplified method to formalize their vision, strategy, business plans, and key performance measurements. In it, I explain how this method does not require extensive business knowledge nor time.

Why BIA? Because the vast majority of businesses operate without a formal plan and studies show that if they did, their odds of success improve by 30% to 50% or more. Would you take those odds?

If every business did that much better, just think what it could mean to the economy, the jobs market and our ability to deal with social issues such as poverty. With that in mind, it almost becomes a moral imperative or obligation to improve business odds – Business is ART aims to do just that.

The book is now available in paperback or ecopy at Amazon and Barnes & Noble or from several independent bookstores. It may also be purchased in signed, hardcover copy directly from me through the Order page of this website. The BIA software automates the method and templates and is currently under development. It will be available on a subscription basis.

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Launch of BIA at “An Evening with the Arts”

In the meantime, please take a look at this 3-minute video entitled “What’s a Plan?” for a better understanding of what a formal plan entails. You may also download a free copy of my 1-page Strategic Plan Template or my free eBook entitled “6 Steps to Evolving with Intent” from the Resources page of this website.

All I ask in return is that you allow me to add you to my email distribution list and provide me with a little feedback from your experience. I do not spam or share your contact information with anyone.

I hope you enjoy Business is ART and this blog, but most of all, hope you find it helpful and entertaining.

Welcome to the Website and Blog

October 12th, 2015 Posted by Business is ART, Business Plan, Goal, Inspiration, Key Performance Indicator, KPI, Leadership, Objective, Strategic Planning, Strategy 0 thoughts on “Welcome to the Website and Blog”
bia-books-e1444148865367

Published by Figure.1 Publishing

Hello, everyone. Welcome to the new site for Business is ART including the Business is ART Blog. This blog was previously located on my consulting web site at Articulate, Revise, Track. In fact, archived, earlier blog posts can still be found and will remain there for some time to come. Meanwhile, new posts will appear here, and from time-to-time old posts from the previous site will be resurrected here.

This blog is dedicated to providing helpful insights and tips based on experience and lessons learned that you can apply to your work and personal lives. There are 3 major categories of posts you can expect to find here in addition to the occasional random subject. They are as follows:

  • Posts specific to business and leadership
  • Posts referring you to my weekly personal blog entitled #Significance
  • Posts referring you to my consulting business’ weekly newsletter

If you follow the link to my old blog site, you will see several examples of each. The business and leadership posts are self-explanatory. #Significance is a weekly blog regarding lives focused on significance versus success.

My weekly newsletter is entitled “The Weekly See 7.” As a consultant, I do business as “SeaSeven LLC” so “See 7” was a little play on the name. Each week the “See 7” names a theme relative to business and provides you with a summary & links to 7 prescreened online articles, presentations or videos that have some relevance to the overall weekly theme.

Plan Canvas is a community and a powerful software for improving your odds of business success and personal fulfillment.

© SeaSeven LLC 2017.
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