Tracking progress

Long ago, a manager of mine tried to help me see the importance of tracking results. Not tracking progress, or drawing lines through completed tasks, but seriously evaluating whether the work I was doing was having the impact it needed to have. "We do what we pay attention to," he'd tell me.

I’m a slow learner.

This summer, Floricane finally started tracking a set of business metrics. It’s an attempt to help our team focus on a small, manageable data set to better evaluate the progress of the business. After many conversations, we settled on five pieces of data – four are numbers, and one is a list:

Year-to-date revenue (over last year’s year-to-date revenue)

New clients to-date (over new clients to-date last year)

New projects to-date (over new clients to-date last year)

Business development activities (month over month)

Projects, activities and events on the calendar for the next 60 days

Getting started, it’s been exciting to see that 2013 is shaping up to be a banner year for Floricane. But it’s been more rewarding to engage in conversations as a team about what we each can do to help move the numbers in a positive direction – and why that is important for each of us.

We’re not convinced that these five measurements are the right yardsticks for our business, but they’re a good starting point. And they’re certainly helping us focus our time and attention on what it takes to run and grow a small business.