Posts in KPI

What Performance Metrics Should You Track?

September 12th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Key Performance Indicator, KPI 0 thoughts on “What Performance Metrics Should You Track?”

Most businesses and organizations naturally pay attention to 2 critical performance metrics – revenue and profit. Some may refer to “revenue” as sales, income, fees, etc. However it is labeled, it means the same thing – how much money you are bringing in.

The word “profit” might mean different things to different people/businesses. For examples, there is profit after direct costs, commonly referred to as gross profit, and there is profit after direct costs, sales costs, and general/administrative costs, commonly referred to as net profit.

Unquestionably, these are vital metrics. But they aren’t everything.


6 categories of metrics

There are 6 commonly referenced categories of performance metrics, as follows:

  1. Financial
  2. Sales & Marketing
  3. Customer
  4. Employees
  5. Operational
  6. Social Responsibility

Revenue and Profit are good examples of financial metrics. But there are any number of additional metrics that you might be concerned with, like Cash on Hand, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable. Each of these can have an impact on the other, so don’t look at any of them in a vacuum.

New Customers and Website Visitors are examples of sales and marketing metrics. Customer Retention Rate and Customer Complaints are examples of customer metrics. Employee metrics might include things like Average Employee Tenure and Time to Hire.

Examples of operational metrics include things like Quality and First Time Resolution (of customer issues). Volunteer Hours and Energy Consumptions are examples of social responsibility metrics.


2 Rules of Thumb

It can be a bit challenging to identify the metrics that are important to you. When you look at a pre-defined list of potential metrics, it’s tempting to say, “This one makes sense,” over and over again until you suddenly have a long, unmanageable list of them.

So a good rule of thumb is to identify 1 to 3 metrics in each of the 6 categories. That will keep you well beyond the narrow view of simply tracking revenue and profit, but will keep your list of metrics to a manageable few.

A second rule of thumb is, once you have identified which metrics to track, set targets for each of them. Measuring without a target is an exercise in futility. What is the end game? What are you trying to achieve? Not only does setting targets add meaning to your metrics, it helps you to focus on the tasks, energy and resources needed to achieve the targets.


What metrics should I track?

The answer to that lies with you and your stakeholders. What is important to you? What does success look like to you? If you are unsure, sit down with your trusted advisors, team, and customers. Ask them. Compare their answers to yours. Then set your metrics.

The good news is you can change them any time it makes sense to do so.


We have you covered

The Plan Canvas software comes pre-loaded with over 50 common key performance metrics (KPI). If we don’t have metrics that are important to you, you can add as many of your own as you’d like.

For a demo of Plan Canvas, click here.

So what metrics are important to you? We would love to hear from you.

How to Track Your Performance Results

December 16th, 2015 Posted by Key Performance Indicator, KPI, Strategy 2 thoughts on “How to Track Your Performance Results”

measuring kpisThe main idea behind the Business is ART process is a multi-step method that enables you to put your business on a path towards healthy growth by:

  • Articulating what it is you want to accomplish through formal plans
  • Revising those plans as you go along
  • Tracking your progress by measuring key performance indicators

When it comes to following these three pillars, most businesses stumble on number three: tracking your progress.

While it seems like articulating a plan and revising it to be better are the most important steps in the process, they really fall flat if you don’t track your company’s performance. Too many businesses fail because they focus too much on strategy and not enough on analysis.

It really all comes down to one simple fact: it is impossible to formulate a proper strategy or adapt to change if you do not identify what is and isn’t working for your company.

Whether you are looking to track marketing metrics, sales or employee performance, you can do so effectively by:

Knowing What to Track

Ask yourself what you should be tracking and why? If you can answer both of these questions honestly, you’ve discovered your key performance indicators.

There are a ton of tools that can be used to track the almost infinite amount of data in the business world, and knowing which metrics are worth tracking really is half the battle. It’s up to you and your team to decide what needs to be improved in order to for your company to perform better.

Some metrics to consider tracking are website performance (traffic, leads generated, conversions, etc.), efficiency (how long it takes to complete a task) and sales numbers.

Measure More Often, or Don’t

Not all performance metrics are created equal, and some don’t need to be measured as frequently as others. Keeping too keen an eye on certain numbers and statistics is an easy way to waste time and resources, so it’s up to you to ascertain what to measure and how often.

Gauge the sensitivity of your metrics. How much can a certain number change in a month. If it fluctuates heavily, then you should be measuring it on monthly or even weekly basis. If you notice little to no change over several months, it’s definitely something that can be measured quarterly or even annually.

Other things to consider when choosing how often to measure a metric is how much it costs to track it, how accurate you need your measurements to be (measuring more frequently leads to increased accuracy) and how important it is to your company’s performance.

Keep Yourself on Track

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information on performance metrics, you need to discuss how you can change your strategy in order to perform better.

A great way to stay on track is by organizing weekly or monthly meetings with your team. Here, you can discuss what is and isn’t working, and how you can improve as a business. Having employees track their time on projects can also go a long way in gauging the efficiency of the work that they are doing. It will also keep them focused on what they have to do, accountable for their performance, and will help you see where time is being spent inefficiently.

It’s always great to stay updated on new tools and best practices for measuring metrics. You can do that by signing up for the free newsletter or tuning in to the BIA talkshow. Additionally, Business is ART provides you with more than 50 pre-defined metrics to help get you thinking about which metrics are best for you.

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?

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”
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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”
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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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