If I mailed you a map of the United States, called you a week later and said,” Take out that map, I want to go to Hell, Michigan! I’ve been to Waco, Texas and St. Louis, Missouri,” what would be your first question? “Where are you now?” Where I’ve been is of no consequence! If I can’t tell you where I am currently standing, you have no way of telling me how to get to Hell!
Business is no different. We all set long and short term goals, but where a lot of us fail is plotting our course on the road to success. The problem is that we can’t set a course if we don’t know where we stand. Where does your business stand TODAY? How much are your accounts payable and your accounts receivable? What are your fixed costs and how much inventory do you have? Who are your consistent customers and where do they live? Are your employees reliable? Who are your stars and who are the weak links? You need a running tally on these factors, just to name a few!
The hard truth is, if you don’t know where you are, how can you improve? More importantly, how will if improvement takes place if you have no clue where you started? Let me give you an example:
You run an advertising campaign for a month and spend $3,000. You make $20,000. Was the campaign successful? What if I told you the month prior you made $30,000 without the advertising? What if I added that 70% of the $20,000 came from new customer? Was the campaign successful? The campaign was absolutely successful! Thank God you ran it because you had a significant fall of return customers. Now you KNOW where you need to adjust! Without knowing where you stood, you would have cut the advertising and the following month you could have brought in $6,000 and would have been LOST as to how to make gains!
You have to do the leg work to know your numbers!! You won’t know if you’re winning or losing unless you know the score!
Knowing where you stand at any given moment gives you the ability to accurately test and measure your results. We’ll dive into testing and measuring next week!! Until then, continue to not be everybody else!
© 2012, Jason Radford. All rights reserved.