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Measuring your business…

I just came across a blog post about why you need to measure performance which seems like a good starting point for all small business owners.

It’s a good question – I mean, if you don’t measure your success in various areas of your business, how do you know you are actually succeeding? Or how will you know that there is a so-far-minor problem in one area before it turns into a major issue for you and your business?

Yes, it is important to keep on top of where you are at in all areas of business, but I liked the suggestion in this blog post that it is better to start monitoring one or two key areas now than to wait “until I have enough time” to set up measuring programs for everything important to your business.

Why start small with your measuring when the whole picture is so important?

  • it is easier to do so it’s more likely to actually happen!
  • starting with one area will teach you skills and make a wider scale measurement easier later
  • data in one area can be dealt with – once that area is working well, you can focus on another area. Compare that to trying to fix 6 areas at once whilst also trying to manage clients and general business tasks
  • improving one thing often has a flow on effect to other areas anyway
  • you’ll gain confidence and belief in measuring that will inspire you to make time for more over time

So my question is – how often do you measure your business performance? Which area do you think most needs assessment right now?

3 Responses to Measuring your business…

  • With our busy lives today I find I don’t measure my business performance enough. As I computer trainer I have found some great tools though that can help small businesses. Unfortunately as a business owner we do not always have time to explore what is available.

    I guess my favourite business tool for measuring my business performance has been the MYOB program. It is available to download from myob.com.au and has a 90 day free trial. It is fantastc as not only can I measure my business performance, by putting my information into MYOB, I can so do my BAS and give the information to the Accountant to do the tax return for my business at the end of the year.

    I am amazed at the many reports are available in MYOB. I can track who owes me money and also who I owe money to. If I input the data on a regular basis, I can run a Profit and Loss report at a click of a button. MYOB also can easily export the reports to Word and Excel, this enables me to put a debt collection letter together in seconds and I can do further analysis with Excel and even add my only formulas to the data I have exported from MYOB.

    Other business tools worth exploring are the Microsoft programs such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Publisher. Word has letter and fax formats already set up to use. Simply go into the File New option and look at the templates. With these you do not have to start from scratch.

    PowerPoint also has documents ready to go. Some are formatted and have guidelines to assist you to easily create a business plans, Project Overviews, Marketing Plans etc for your business.

    I also enjoy using Publisher it is a handy tool to assist you in setting up your own brochures, catalogues, newsletters and stationery if you feel that way inclined. Again if you do not have any of the above programs you can download these from microsoft.com.au free for around 60 days.

    Being able to use the above tools can be extremely helpful. They assist in building your efficiency and productivity, these tools can make you business look more professional to the outside world and the biggest advantage with the MYOB tool, as long as you enter all your income and expenses and keep the file up-to-date you can easily measure your businesses performance.

  • tashword says:

    Thanks for sharing your ideas on some software, Marie. I agree that there are heaps of systems to get us organised and to help measure our businesses, and that it is hard to find time to check them out!

    Isn’t it funny – electronic accounts packages not only saort our records and add up totals for us, but also generate our reports. There’s no way I could have maintained my business accounts (let alone reviewed anything) in the last few years if I had been doing all that manually!

  • Great read. Very interesting. It is truly–“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

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