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CEO Corner: Measuring Your Progress

Topic: Growing Your Business | Comments Off on CEO Corner: Measuring Your Progress

Posted on December 16, 2009 by admin

scoreboardIf you’re like most small business owners, there’s no such thing as “in between” and your next few weeks can be either described as chaotic or quiet.

If you’re in the service business, the year-end can be the chaotic, flat-out finish of one or more big client projects, or the quiet wait for new projects to begin.  If you’re selling products, you’re either trying to sell everything in your stock or planning purchases for next year.

Whichever position you’re in, there’s still time to think about starting next year.  What can you do now to make sure your business get’s off to a good start?

My last few posts have explained how to create, simple, high-level business plans, so you’ve identified your goals and the associated requisite activities you need to do to accomplish them.  All that remains is for you to do is understand how to measure your success.

As we’ve discussed, you’ve established a quantitative or qualitative measurement for each one of the activities that drive you towards your goals.  How often should you review your progress?  What is the right measurement interval?  Is it best to monitor progress on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis?

While there’s no single, “right” answer, there absolutely IS a guiding principle:

Always adopt the shortest meaningful interval.

To use a sporting analogy, does it make sense to gauge your progress during a game by reading about the final score in a magazine?  Of course not!  You can only change your strategy and tactics while the game is in progress, and the earlier in the game, the more flexibility you have to affect the outcome.

My advice is simple: don’t wait until halftime, or even the end of the first quarter, to track your progress. Check the scoreboard – and short-term measurements –often.

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