Saturday, February 23, 2008

That Which is Measured...

There's a rule in development, whether for business or personal pursuits: That which is measured, gets improved. I've been putting in some effort on this recently. It's a bit tedious, I'll admit, but it is informative.

Each business day, I record the number of calls I make, people I meet, events I attend, and presentations I give. I also record any sales I make and what their value is. I've been doing this now for about five months. My goal is to have a baseline "cookbook".

A cookbook is a concept I learned in my sales training with Joe Marr. The general idea is to understand, in my business, what level of effort leads to what level of results. When you know that, then you can control those results by increasing or decreasing your effort. With five months of data, I should have some picture of my return on investment.

The trick when analyzing this stuff, though, is to take into account the lag factor. For example, I haven't really changed the number of calls, meetings or events over the past few months, but just eyeballing the results, I'm seeing a gradual increase in the number of sales and their total value. So, for whatever reason, my results haven't reached the plateau dictated by my level of effort yet.

This is another good statistic to know: Lag time. If I look at my results and they aren't what I want, making a change now won't have an immediate effect, but might take several weeks or months to show.

So, what aspects of your business do you measure?

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