5 critical metrics for effective business

Want to have a better-run business?  Define clear metrics and use them as a launch pad to move your organization forward.

Metrics enable you to operate more effectively and efficiently because they provide you with valuable information on how you can drive improvement and how you can apply resources (people, time, money) to the activities and programs that will get you to where you need to go.

Critical metrics for effective business are ones that focus on the strategic goals of your organization.  Here are five metrics every business can benefit from using:

Financial metrics

Make sure you have, at the very least, a quarterly plan in place. A yearly plan is ideal, but a quarterly plan is a good starting point. Track against your plan. Looking at financials in aggregate is not a helpful exercise. Rather, look at your financials on a granular level.

Business metrics

Determine what makes your customers happy and what enables your organization. Track these. Soon, you will know what you should do more of and what should be cut back.

Customer metrics

Determine the who, what, when, and why of your customers. Knowing what matters to them will help you understand how to serve them better.

Vendor metrics

Determine the who, what, when, and why of your vendors. Relationship management and partnering can only be built on a strong foundation.

Quality metrics

When it comes to quality it is important to look at anything and everything. That is, the quality of your products, the quality of your relationships with your clients, the quality of work your employees produce… Start tracking all of this.

Track the data

Develop tracking methods for each of these five metrics. Archive the data. Learn by studying the results on a regular basis. You’ll start understanding how to drive the direction of your organization. You’ll develop a focus for your organization and your performance. You’ll be able to make better decisions and drive performance.

Although most (if not all) of the material will be used internally, you should make sure that it is “external facing ready.” What you are creating is a database that you can query when you need it. In the end, you’ll have, at your fingertips, a decision database to run a better business.