I recently read an article in The Wall Street Journal by Bill Gates and I think it was an excerpt from one of his upcoming annual reports or something. Hey, I discovered the article, you guys can Google it and put it in the comments section below so we can all remind ourselves. Such details are not my strong suit.
Anyway, the whole thing was about “measuring.” As my loyal babes know, I am ALL about measuring. Can’t measure enough for me infact. I think that GE’s CEO, Jack Welch, said it best: “Measure it and it will improve.” Clearly Gates and I agree, if you’ve even read one sentence of my book, But Are You Making Any Money? and my moderate to severe obsession with tracking your time. It really is true, you can improve any area of your business merely by focusing on something specific and actually putting some attention on making it better. Magic, right? Now we just need to do it.
Follow my 5 Super Simple Steps for Fattening Up Your Bottom Line (or anything else for that matter!)
- Determine which key metrics are important. Key metrics are kind of like business focal points. What are yours? To determine the key metrics for your social media campaign you might ask: How many Twitter followers do you currently have? Facebook likes? What is your blog ranking, etc? Figure out WHAT you want to improve and then figure out how.
- Come up with the appropriate benchmarks. You want to take these key metrics and compare them to other data that’s out there – maybe how your biggest competitor ranks or just your own personal goal. The comparison is how you’ll know whether or not you’re making progress.
- Write out your goals. We all know that you can’t hit a target you can’t see. Shocker. So write out exactly what you’re trying to achieve and where you are right now. For example, I currently have around 14k Twitter followers but I’m obsessed with getting to 100k. I’ve now sent that out to the universe and need to monitor my progress. (Subtle hint: Follow @thepartygoddess if you’re not already.)
- Automate your system. Alot of us entrepreneurs are great visionaries and not so great in the follow up department. Yes, I am outing myself. In order to hit your key performance goals, it helps to get someone involved who can gather the data and present it to you in a quick and dirty format BEFORE you have to ask for it. I.e – Every Monday you could request an email on your social media statistics from an employee or someone on your virtual team. That way the data pops into your inbox without you having to chase it down.
- Identify potential pitfalls early on. Don’t get too bogged down! The biggest issue I see in follow through is when we bite off more than we can chew. Think of it like an exercise routine: Don’t go from couch potato to a marathon runner’s training schedule in 24 hours; you’ll never stick to it. Instead, pick a few of the most important metrics to improve your business, assign someone to gather the data and determine the frequency with which you want that data. Not too often but not so infrequently that you can’t course correct when you need to.
Bottom line? Key metrics are like a little cheatsheet, filling you in on the health of your business. Set up a few areas that could stand some improvement, decide here and now to tackle them and watch that bottom line (or list of Twitter followers) grow by the day.
So what do you think? Give me your comments and feedback below. And, oh, by the way, don't forget to tell a friend if you like what you see! xo