We as business owners and founders don't have a crystal ball. We can't predict the future, obviously, but with good and accurate data, you can start to push out the fear and make good, solid business decisions. On today's episode of Basecamp, I discuss How To Plan For The Future.
When you have the data you can start to see trends and you can start to become a bit of a predictor. Once you get all of the data together, you're going to be able to make much better decisions and push that fear aside. You're gonna make decisions from good, solid information and not fear.
Typically, I work with two different types of clients.
The first one says...
"What if we had to hire more people? Where are we going to put them?"
"What if we get so many orders that we don't have enough supply and we have to go find more supply."
"What if this key person quits? What are we gonna do?"
"What if our suppliers raise our prices? We're not gonna be able to keep up."
Can you see the difference between the two?
The first one is coming from a place of positive opportunity, the second one is coming from a place of fear and lacking, not having enough, never having enough. I have worked with both. Now, ask me which one typically survives, especially in a time of crisis - the first one.
Now we as business owners and founders don't have a crystal ball. We can't predict the future, obviously, but with good and accurate data, you can start to push out the fear and make good, solid business decisions. You can start to see trends and you can start to become a bit of a predictor.
As a good, solid business owner who wants to grow and expand, you have to be able to see the future a little bit and make those predictions. You're going to need that solid data to hire people, to negotiate shipping or supply orders, any negotiations, for that matter, and if you can see trends, you can start to see the areas where your business is doing well and where your business needs a little bit more focus. How do you get this data?
Well, you use scorecards and dashboards. Hopefully, you have one. If not, contact me, because it can be very, very enlightening and they are actually not that difficult to set up. So start gathering your data, because I'm gonna walk you through the steps for setting it up yourself.
Once you get all of the data together, you're going to be able to make much better decisions and push that fear aside. You're gonna make decisions from good, solid information and not fear. So how do you do this?
You need to figure out the five to 15 numbers that tell you where your company is doing well or not doing well, no more than 15, no less than five. 10 to 12 is usually the best number, and for every business, it's going to be different. It could be cash, it could be new leads this week, it could be sales this week, how many contracts are signed this week, how many projects are signed this week, how many projects are completed this week?
It's really going to depend on your business, but you need to get the five to 15, and no more than 15, numbers that you absolutely need to know and understand to drive your business and keep it moving forward every single day.
You need to assign a weekly target to every single one of these numbers. If cash is one of your drivers, then you're going to say okay, well I need to make sure that we have $10,000 in cash in the savings account every week. Maybe I need five new leads in, I need to sign four contracts every week, we need to complete two projects every week.
Whatever those numbers are that you need to make sure you're on every single week, assign a target to it. That's going to let you know if your company is where it is supposed to be, going in the right direction, or if you need to pay more attention to that.
Assign someone to make sure this scorecard or dashboard, and make sure it is filled in and tracked every single week. If it's just you and an assistant, give it to your assistant. If it's you and a VA, give it to your VA. If it's you and your team, give it to somebody else.
If you leave it up to you, you're gonna get caught up in the whirlwind of every single day, and it's not going to happen. You need to assign a person to do this scorecard, to get that data for you, every single week and fill it in, and then put it on your desk, under your nose, the same time, the same day every single week.
Once you get into that rhythm and they get into that rhythm, then it'll be something that you can't live without. For example, people who work out, they go to the gym every day and, when they miss a day, they're all panicking and they're day's just not right, this is gonna be the same way. If you don't have it on Wednesday at nine and you always get it on Wednesday at nine, you're gonna be calling Jan, finding out where's your scorecard. You need your numbers.
But you must make sure that somebody else is doing it for you because you're gonna get caught up in the whirlwind and it's not gonna get done.
Start tracking! You are going to see the trends and you are gonna see opportunities for where you can improve.
What gets measured gets done.
What gets done gets improved.
Your people are gonna see that you're paying attention to these numbers and now they're going to want to make sure that they're not the person that you come to that week, going, "Why didn't you get me these five leads this week? "Why didn't you sign those four contracts?" They're gonna make sure that they're getting their things done.
It's just a phenomenon, it always happens. If you're measuring it and paying attention to it, somebody else is gonna start paying attention to it, too, and it's going to get improved.
Now you're making decisions from data and not fear.
So what if you really could build and get everything you wanted from your business?