This Causes Failure for Numerous BusinessesYears ago, I read a book by Lance Armstrong about his recovery from cancer, and his experiences in the Tour De France.
The guy is obviously a phenomenal athlete and an extremely determined human being.
And as I was reading his book, I noticed the sort of measurements athletes took of themselves in terms of their timing and understanding their numbers in very specific detail.
Measurement is extremely important in sport because one hundredth of a second can make a huge difference.
So you need to know your numbers.
Same with your personal health - as we get older, it's important to monitor our blood pressure and our cholesterol.
After all, if you let these issues slide, they get out of hand. And by the time you realise it, it's very difficult to repair.
And one of the biggest causes of failure for many businesses is not knowing their numbers.
* How much it costs to acquire a customer Cash flow
* How many new leads you are generating on a week-to-week basis
* How much it costs to acquire a lead
* The conversion of leads which turn into customers
* How much leads cost from various sources (newspapers, google adwords, phone directories, etc)
* The source of which 80% of your business is coming from (which is often from just 20% of your clients or efforts)
* If you're in consulting: how much are you billing per hour?
* Your average dollar value of a customer
* How many active marketing moves you are making each week
The bottom line is you can't manage what you don't measure. And until you start measuring something, you don't know if it's getting better or worse.
There's an old saying "What gets measured is what improves."
But most businesses (including myself) don't measure in anywhere near as much detail as we should.
Why? Because measurement requires work. And it requires a lot of thinking.
But it's so worth it.
Because it allows you to make decisions - for instance, I am improving a marketing campaign at the moment because I know it generates a large percentage of traffic to my website.
If I didn't have those numbers, I wouldn't know what to improve.
Or I would improve something else which didn't really matter all that much.
So start to take the time to understand your numbers with the same degree of detail as an athlete like Lance Armstrong watches his race times.