Most business owners ask the wrong questions
We all want success – in our business and in our other lives.
And success is easy to measure: how many customers, how many sales, what level of profits etc
But, interesting and helpful though these figures are, they don’t help us do the right things to create success!
And small businesses need to focus on these things rigorously, as this is the only way they can outperform bigger and better funded competitors.
- Focusing on the number of customers doesn’t help us focus on investing in customer loyalty.
- Focusing on sales usually hinders us focusing on longer-term activities to build for a secure future.
- And focusing on margins almost always gets in the way of desperately needed work on value for the customer and being super attractive to new customers.
I often say: ‘Focusing on the wrong measures is like driving a car only using the rear-view mirror’.
I.e: ‘Success’ is an outcome (it’s the road behind us), whereas activity is a measure of cause (it’s the road in front of us).
I repeat: small businesses need to focus on these things rigorously, as this is the only way they can outperform bigger and better funded competitors.
They will have their ‘outcome’ measures automatically (their accountant will need these).
The key to ‘outcomes’ for small business owners is to find, put in place and focus rigorously on the measures of the CAUSE of outcomes.
- The measures that CAUSE them to have more customers are measures of attractiveness, loyalty, reputation and visibility.
- The measures that CAUSE them to increase sales are measures of ease, value, cross selling and attractiveness.
- The measures that CAUSE them to get good margins are measures of attractiveness, value and perception.
(Note that ‘attractiveness’ occurs in each one).
So: in order to build a consistently successful business (and not be, at best, a short lasting flash in the pan), small business owners need to make sure they have the right measures in place.
Measures of CAUSE first.
Measures of RESULT afterwards.
These measures are all included in Principle4 of ‘Slow Selling: ‘Measure what matters’.
Slow Selling is a UK based not for profit organisation for small business owners.
The aim is to help you grow your business through customer loyalty, reputation and referrals … without all the hype, hassle and nonsense. To find out more, please click here