Measuring Up To Success

Recently, I was introduced to a concept by my Business Coach Dan Sullivan that I believe is very applicable to any business today. He stated:   “If you measure something, you can understand it. If you understand something, you can control it. If you can control something, you can improve it.”   Wow! It sounds so simple, but let’s explore this quote more deeply. We all know that it is important to take measure of many facets of your business operations. Yet, many of us, in spite of knowing this is true, still don’t do it. I am not certain why many people resist doing this, but, frankly, it’s the best way I know to make any type of improvement. For this reason, I have spent years putting together measurements of my Clients’ business results. Please allow me to provide you with several examples:   As a follow-up to completing Annual Cash Flow Budgets for my Clients each year, I also track their Actual vs. Budget results every month. Obviously, this is the measurement part. Understanding this information comes from the analysis we do whenever an item is “highlighted” for being more than 5% over our budget. One of my Clients calls these his “Amber Alerts,” because they point out the areas we need to focus on improving or, at a minimum, grasp a better understanding of why these items are over budget. Sometimes these cost over-runs are out of our control, but 95% of the time they can be controlled. Just understanding what is going on within your business provides you with an opportunity to control it, and, clearly, if you can control an item, you can also improve it.   My Management Team Meetings with Clients also measure their results compared to six months and 12 months ago. On a dairy operation, these are items such as Milk Production per cow per day, their Pregnancy Rate, Heat Detection Rate, Percent of the herd that is pregnant and many other items. These are the measurements. We can grasp a better understanding of these simply because we measured them vs. prior periods’ results. If we understand these items, we can understand why they are getting better or worse and gain better control over our outcomes. As I said before, if we can control something, we can improve it.   I also work with Clients who have fairly labor intensive businesses. In their case, because they can automate some tasks rather quickly, we measure their cash flow results, not only vs. their budget, but also on a “per hour billed” basis. Completing these measurements helps us understand what the results are, but also gives us a grasp of the trends in our expenses per hour billed. Once we understand these items, we can take steps to better control their bottom line, allowing us to also improve their results.   I hope you find these examples helpful. If I can assist you with your business in any way, please let me know. Be sure to watch for upcoming announcements of my new program entitled Six Hours to your Best Year Ever! available at soon.