What's the one number that can run your business?

In a world of computerized accounting systems that generate tons of data in nano-seconds, I’ve found that fastest growing and most profitable businesses focus on one number.

The good news is that you can post this number on a white board in the shop or on a sticky note on the coffee maker.

One number can align your employees and managers to improve it and grow it.

What’s your number?

Here are some examples.

In a service company, it’s ‘billable time’ where employees provide service to your customers.

In a drive through restaurant, it’s average wait time in the queue. The lower the wait, the faster the service. You can see this on the count-down clocks at Tim Hortons.

In a retail store, it’s average transaction value. This measures how much each customer spends with you. The better the service and experience, the higher this number will be.

Retail display at Crocus & Ivy
Retail display at Crocus & Ivy

In a manufacturer, it’s unit of production, whether measured in square feet or lineal feet on the elusive widget.

CNC Machine at Luxury Granite
CNC Machine at Luxury Granite

Many managers struggle with improving performance and start tweaking ten different things. This can be very confusing to people who are then guessing at what is really important. Or, people just wait for the temporary fad to pass and go back to their daily routines.

When you measure, communicate and publicize this number on a daily basis, you can hold your entire team accountable, because everyone knows the score.

That’s a low-tech solution that’s guaranteed to get you a great result.

Copyright 2011 Phil Symchych. All Rights Reserved.

0 thoughts on “What's the one number that can run your business?”

  1. Phil,
    Great and insightful post, Phil. It’s true, whether you’re running a service desk, a software development company, or delivering papers, there’s that one number that matters most.
    Thank you,

  2. You are so right. Measurement and automatic feedback are also so simple… and extremely motivating when you have the right people “on the bus”. Great post Phil!

    1. Travis,
      You’re right that metrics can be extremely motivating and their absence, therefore, can be demotivating, as if performance doesn’t matter. Thanks for your comment.

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