I recently had an alarming number of business owners ask the question: “What are metrics? I don’t know what that means.”
I believe there is no such thing as a dumb question, so I acknowledge each and every person who has asked this question explicitly or silently in his or her own mind. Thank you for asking it!!
It drives me right up a tree when I see business owners’ eyes gloss over and their minds turn blank when the subject of knowing your numbers comes up. What do you mean you don’t track anything?
I know it’s not the sexiest topic in business, but it is most definitely one of the most important ones. Knowing your numbers = growing your profits. You can’t do one without the other. Period.
I can remember sitting as a participant in a high-level mastermind meeting a few years ago when someone who had invested multiple five figures in mastermind and private coaching said, “I don’t know what my income or expenses are but I know I’m doing better because there is money in my bank account.” I had all I could do to not stand up and say WTF?!? You’re kidding me right?
If you are someone who hasn’t been tracking your numbers well or at all, there is no shame in that. Do NOT use this article as an opportunity to beat yourself up. That will get you nowhere. I do invite you to use this article as a catalyst to wake up and step up.
What are metrics? They are simply a way of measuring things in your business. It doesn’t have to be rocket science and you don’t need an accounting degree to do it. You don’t have to be in love with spreadsheets or be a geek either. You do have to take the time to measure in a way that is easy for you, however.
You need to be measuring a variety of things in different areas of your business – from marketing to financial to project delivery. If you don’t measure, you can’t know what is really going on in your business and therefore you waste plenty of time doing the wrong things. You also don’t know whether what you are doing is profitable or not. If you are not profitable your business will fail. Not if, not when, will.
So, start measuring TODAY.