Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Defining and Revising Measures

There's an old saw about supervision and running a business that goes, "You can't manage, what you can't measure."

But what is it that you should be measuring? How do you come up with a grasp of the difference between success and failure?

One start is to carefully define your business objectives. What did you write in your business plan? Your marketing plan? Do you have one of either? If not, consider putting one of both together. If you haven't reviewed your plans in a while, consider taking them out, dusting them off, and seeing how you might need to update them.

I was thinking earlier today that it's easy to get stuck in a rut, to buy supplies from one vendor without checking to see the prices offered by others because you've grown comfortable with the relationship between you and your salesperson.

Likewise, it's simple to go forward with business as usual, without checking the cost of doing business.

One of the most difficult things there is to do is to take a step or two, or three back. The day-to-day concerns sometimes obscure the bigger picture.

How much of a profit should your business be making? What types of benefits should it be able to afford you? How do you know that your customers are happy? Consider ways to define the measures you use.