You made the giant leap! You quit your ‘job’ and opened your own business! This is it!!! What you’ve always dreamt of!!! Oh crap, now what?!?
Well, there are a lot of things, and thousands of books out there to help you focus on them. But there is one very important aspect of running your own business, regardless of what that business is, that hardly anyone really wants to do… track your numbers.
Whether you are newly self-employed, or you have been running a business for many years, there is a very strong likelihood that tracking your numbers is an area of opportunity for you. So what does ‘tracking your numbers’ mean, exactly? Essentially, exactly what it sounds like. There are the monetary numbers. At the most basic level, the money coming in needs to exceed the money going out or you won’t be in business very long. As basic as that sounds, there are plenty of examples of businesses and entrepreneurs that miss doing exactly this. Sometimes they just fade away, and sometimes we read about them in the news as they go down with a giant bang. If you aren’t sure of what or how to appropriately track your company’s money or budget properly, there are plenty of resources to help you. The emphasis there is on help you. You cannot abdicate your responsibility for your money, as enticing as that may sound, especially when it is time to file your taxes. Your CPA or financial coach is there to assist you, but you are responsible for understanding and making the decisions around your money.
But tracking your numbers goes far beyond just being fiscally responsible and practicing good accounting. Your numbers include both the leading and lagging indicators of your success as well as any other pieces of information that can help you to make strong decisions around your company. Each business is unique and has unique things they should be tracking. It takes some time to analyze your specific business and what indicators are important to you. Trust me, the time to think about and actually spend tracking is one of the most influential things you can do for the success of your business. How do you know what advertising or marketing works best? How do you know if your product or service is priced appropriately? How do you know if the market or demand for your product has shifted? How do you know if it is time to grow? How do you know if you have hired the right people? All of these questions can be answered with data that is collected over time.
So what about that gut feeling you have? Maybe it just feels like it is the right time to grow. Or maybe that new hire just feels like a great addition to the team. We, as human beings, are notorious for filling in the blanks of missing data and drawing conclusions based on our assumptions. Unfortunately, we often overestimate how good our gut is at making these assumptions. That gut feeling to grow, might be based on something completely unrelated to whether or not it actually is. History is riddled with examples of businesses that made bad growth decisions when all the data was telling them otherwise. That new hire that feels like a great fit? I know of more than one person who was a great ‘team player’ and also pilfering from the company when the bosses weren’t looking.
Much as it feels like a burden, no fun, and sometimes even a waste of time, knowing and tracking your numbers is probably the singular most important thing to help you as the leader of your business. Whether you run a large team, or you are a sole-proprietor, making sound and strategic decisions based on factual information is critical to your success.
Whether you are new to being the boss or well experienced, we’re here to help you reach your goals by diving into the details with you. If you’re ready to grow, hiring us to coach you and your team may be the perfect next step. Reach out to set up a free and confidential discovery session. firstname.lastname@example.org