Photo Source: Highways Agency
By IAN HOLMER
Whether you’re a Jumbo Jet pilot… or a golfer, you can’t perform at optimum levels unless you have sufficient control to begin with.
Before actually flying, a pilot needs to learn what all the dials and indicators are telling him about what the plane is doing. Only when he’s mastered these is he allowed to take off. Simply put he has to learn to control the plan first before flying for real. Imagine if a new pilot simply sat down and started the engines!
The same holds true for other skills too. Take playing golf. We all want to be able to hit the ball as far as possible on the first go… however we need to be able to control the swing first then gradually build up the power.
It’s the same in business!
It’s no use trying to expand your business (and go fast) unless you have basic control.
Business owners need to have their “dashboards” set up so they can get feedback on their business performance on a regular basis. Just like a pilot. In business though instead of every second, the feedback is usually monthly, weekly and sometimes daily.
A successful business needs to be constantly evolving, moving and changing with the times. Today particularly, it’s important to be continually trying new things to remain competitive.
However if the manager or leader doesn’t quickly know what effect new initiatives are having on the business, control gets lost and the enterprise may be steering off course for some time before it gets noticed and corrected.
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Get control… so your business can fly!
Set up a “business dashboard” consisting of such essentials as for example:
- Sales leads generated per month
- Number of walk-in/phone prospects
- Conversion rate (% of leads to clients)
- Average sale per client
- Average profit per client
- Lead time on collection
… and others depending on what business you are in.
You also need to have a reliable method of regularly collecting these numbers and presenting them in a meaningful way. Charts and graphs can help to see patterns in the data.
Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t measure! And the numbers never lie!
If you have a useful dashboard set up and accurate information feeding into it, you have the foundations of that magic element called “control.”
With these numbers you can make better decisions about what is affecting your performance and, just like a pilot, take a corrective action to get better results.
If measuring things is new to your business, start small, get some momentum with a few basic metrics and then build from there.
When you have control over your enterprise… you’re ready to open up the throttle and fly!