CSO and Co-Founder at Excel Impact
Early on in my business career, I wasted a lot of time. I didn’t know I was doing it, but looking back, I was. No one ever wants to knowingly waste time, but especially not someone who is working tirelessly to make their business work. As business leaders, we want to be sure we’re making the most of every passing minute.
What was I doing wrong, unbeknownst to myself? I wasn’t tracking my business results. In my early days, it was all binary for me: just profits and losses. That’s all I could think of that would matter; either I was making money, or I was losing money. What more could matter beyond that?
When a new idea or opportunity came my way, I looked at how much it would cost and how much I might gain from it. If it seemed promising, I would jump on it and, after an indeterminate amount of time, I would do a general check on its progress to make sure I was profiting. I was never quite sure how much I was profiting off of it or conducting any sort of formal return on investment analysis. No benchmarks set. No projections. No discernible goals of any kind.
As I said, it was binary: profit or loss.
As time went on, I realized that most of my business decisions were nothing more than guesses. I didn’t think of them that way since so many of these “guesses” had worked out in my favor, but they were guesses nonetheless. Even when I was profiting off of something, I was never really sure how much or what it would take to bring it to the next level. It was time to start benchmarking. It was time to start setting goals and tracking results.
I began to track everything, and the benefits showed themselves almost immediately. I could instantly start identifying ideas that were performing well and invest more time and resources into them so they could achieve even higher results, and the same goes for anything that wasn’t performing to expectations. I could simply stop investing in it right then and there rather than checking in at some random point in the potentially distant future and finding out it wasn’t working out.
As an example, working in online marketing and advertising, I was able to see which keywords were converting website visitors into leads, and when I began to actively track their results, I could start reallocating resources to the keywords that were performing well and away from the ones that weren’t. Had I not been regularly tracking their performances, I could have been wasting precious time and money without even realizing it.
Tracking results often leads to more profit, which then gives you more money to invest in new projects and ideas. These, in turn, can lead to even further profit. This is time and money well spent. You likely aren’t afforded the opportunity of investing in new ideas if you aren’t actively measuring your results and properly projecting your goals.
While I am talking about business, goals, profits and losses, what I’m really talking about is time management. We live busy lives, and there’s no room for time to be wasted on ideas and projects that simply are not working. Measuring your business results is a surefire way to create greater consistency in your business and free up your schedule from being bogged down by ideas and work that just aren’t playing out the way you’d like.
Start measuring your business results from all angles today. It will lead to greater success and free you from focusing on the wrong things.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?