Thursday, December 1, 2011

Create, Know & Obsess About Your KPI's

Please note that a variation of this blog catered towards franchise candidates first appeared in the Franchise Business Review.  You can read it here.


1.    Efforts made in marketing (i.e. Are you doing the work?)
2.    Conversion Rate (i.e. How effective is your message?)
3.    Profitability

A good set of KPI’s addresses these three topics. 

If you’re running a business, your KPI’s should be central to your thoughts and actions at all times.

If you’re thinking about starting a business, figure out what your KPI’s will be in advance so you can make an honest assessment of the opportunity.

If you’re analyzing a business as a potential investor or franchise candidate, ask about KPI’s to quickly ascertain the health and key drivers of the business model.

Hopefully this outline provides some guidance on recalibrating or creating these incredibly important measurements which will serve as the lifeblood of your business.  Good luck and happy entrepreneuring.

In working every day with current and aspiring entrepreneurs I often find that metrics and data don’t receive the attention they should.  I often hear comments like – “How much money can we make?” or “How long will it take to do so and so?” but these are cursory questions that often don’t scratch the surface of a business model.

Every business, whether real or in creation, has key revenue and expense drivers.  All entrepreneurs should translate these drivers into “Key Performance Indicators” (“KPI’s”) or something similar to measure the company’s performance.

KPI’s are the heart, brain and central nervous system of a business.  Want to know if you’re investing your time and money in the right places?  Know how these investments relate to your KPI’s.  Want to know when to crack open the champagne or hit the panic button?  Know the ceiling and floor of each KPI and create reasonable goals/milestones.  Want to know if a key employee is the right person for the job?  Look at their impact on the KPI’s relative to what they’re costing the business.  And so forth.

I was speaking recently with Brian Destarac, a business coach and founder of Cobalt Business Solutions, and he had a great outline for looking at KPI's that I wanted to pass along.  He identified three categories:

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