As a busy entrepreneur you are juggling a lot of things. You are an agent, marketer, customer service rep, accountant, and much more. One thing that you have to make time for in your busy work life is a regular check-up, just like you would have a physical from your doctor.
There are a number of different matrices you can use to measure your performance. First and foremost, if you aren’t using client surveys, you should be. Preferably, they should come from an independent source. If your local association doesn’t offer them, take a look at something like Real Satisfied. Second, you should have goals set for yourself and you can measure against those. Third, your CRM system should have a grading mechanism to see how you’re doing on follow-up and client management. If it doesn’t, create one for yourself using a goal system. And finally, your bank account should be a pretty good barometer of your income and expenses. If you have other aspects of your business that need measuring, create ways to measure your progress, or lack thereof.
The next question should be, how often do you need to be reviewing your progress. I would submit that quarterly should be a minimum. Based on where you are in your business, it may need to be more often.
The main thing, is to force yourself to step back and take a big picture look at your business.
No matter how you choose to do this, it is vitally important that you undertake this process without distraction. For some people, that means getting away from it all. For some, it means just taking an afternoon off. Either way, shut off the phone, close down the email and have the time to yourself or you and your coach/spouse/business partner.
A solid growth review not only assesses the measurable criteria in your goals, but should also have a set of qualitative measurements. The trick with this, of course, is that you have to be really honest with yourself. No self-deception allowed.
So, now that you have the data, what do you do with it?
First, you should start with the quantitative items and recast your goals based on your analysis. If you achieved them, congratulations. Now, set new ones that stretch you. If you didn’t, take a look at why and revise accordingly without letting yourself off the hook. Second, look at your processes and systems and see what you can improve. Then, create realistic and achievable action plans, keeping in mind your busy schedule, to implement them in a reasonable amount of time. Finally, you should examine and reset your long-term goals.
Oh, and don’t forget to celebrate your successes from the previous quarter!
By having a scheduled way to continuously, yet objectively assess how your business is performing you will then know where you stand according to your goals and at the same time have a mechanism in place to ensure that you and your business continue to grow. Measuring the health and longevity of your business regularly is just as important as measuring your own health on a regular basis.