Running a successful business of your own requires many talents and a great work ethic, says Andrew (Andy) Simon, Partner at Simon Associates Management Consultants and highly-experienced entrepreneur. But without the right forms of measurement and a lot of attention to the numbers, he warns, it will be difficult to succeed.
So what strategies should business leaders follow to tip the odds in their favor? Check out Andy's list of do's and don'ts, recently published in an article in ExpertBeacon:
Do understand that you need a road map to know when you are there
You need to establish goals for everything you do. That’s your road map. If you don’t set goals, how do you know where you stand? And part of this road map must be expressed in numbers. Accomplishing those goals you set, whether a short term or long term goal, will act as a measurement of how well you are doing.
Do realize what’s important to the success of your business
Each business has a number of goals. Some are important, some less so. Unless you understand what is important, you will inevitably spend valuable resources working on things that won’t bring you great success. Rank your goals in terms of the value they bring to the overall success of your business and then focus your time on what matters most.
Do find a syndicated service that can provide meaningful data
Most industries have third party research sources that will lay out what is important to that industry. Acquire that reporting service. It will provide industry trends and you can see how you are doing against competition. It can provide both early warning systems, as well as general insights.
Do make your own dashboard if syndicated data is not available
So what if you are starting a business and creating a new category…a Blue Ocean®, or a market no one has created yet. Perhaps third party data is not available, or perhaps you need additional data which become key measurements to your business. Determine what you need, where to get it, and make it part of your dashboard.
Do not go full steam ahead without any objectives
How many businesses do you know that have no objectives? Unfortunately, more than you can imagine. Not smart. There is a strong probability that not knowing what’s important means you will miss early warning signs that could lead to distress, or you could miss out on opportunities to capitalize on success.
Do not ignore critical elements that can make your business successful
So many companies do not understand the keys to success, especially in their particular market. What elements are embedded in your success and what elements are unnecessary? You need to know what to enhance or discard so that you can run efficiently. Take inventory of those critical elements that will guarantee your success, and use that knowledge to drive you in the right direction.
Do not be pennywise and pound foolish
Sometimes acquiring critical data is expensive. You might not want to outlay the cash and believe it is an unnecessary expense. But that’s not always the wisest choice. There is a chance that this activity, when utilized appropriately, will generate an ROI because of the actions you have taken.
Do not forget to regularly review your data, adhering to a specific schedule
Data is only valuable if it turns into knowledge. And knowledge is only valuable if it becomes actionable. Having a periodic, systematic scheduled review process allows you to act rather than react. Make course changes when necessary.
While a good business requires passion and knowledge of your industry, Andy advises, when you’re in the middle of running the business, you need to keep many balls in the air, focusing regularly on evaluating your progress and making your numbers. That way, you’ll know you’re on the road to long-term success.
To read Andrew Simon’s ExpertBeacon article in its entirety, click here.