Business Tools for Trades and Makers

In or Out of control?

Do you have control of your business or is it like a wild beast you are trying to ride and you’re not quite sure how long you can hang on for?

It might be time to tighten your grip and get some reins on that critter! Once you get it pointing the right direction and moving at the pace you want, you can throw a saddle on, get a bit more comfortable and enjoy the ride.  Then you might be ready to kick it into a gallop and really go places.

So get a grip!  What gets measured gets managed.

It’s a common saying in business and has been for centuries but so many people ignore it in their haste to get on with the job and then the next job.

Just as with a game of sport, the score makes all the difference.  It’s a bit of fun just to pick up a tennis racquet for a few hits or a basketball to shoot a few hoops but you will never really get good at sport unless you measure performance both in practice and for real against a quality competitor. Once you get good at something then the real enjoyment and satisfaction starts and the score matters more than ever.

It ‘s just the same in business.  Once you start measuring some areas of performance, you will naturally start looking to improve those areas. What you measure you will manage.

Typically businesses will glance at some monthly data to see how things went, but that’s 6 or more weeks in arrears and any improvement will planned for a month or two ahead.  By bringing things back to weekly measurement of just a few key numbers, you can really focus on what you need to do each day to get the weekly numbers the way you want them.

So choose some key performance indicators, measured as close to the means of production as possible and start recording the data.  Some simple analysis will show you the potential possible, then you can set about achieving it.

So what numbers will you pick first?

Recently, such a system showed that only 65% of worked hours were being charged out by a hands-on team of 7.  A simple feedback loop was provided so that everyone knew how well they were doing which resulted in a dramatic improvement to 85%.  That’s a helpful contribution of $140,000 to the bottom line of the business.

So what numbers will you pick first?


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