Decisions with numbers

“Business is Personal” has been a thing for almost 12 years now. While many things have changed in that 12 years, the nature and impact of good and bad decisions remains the same: the difference between success and failure. “So says Captain Obvious”, you might say. Perhaps, yet your decisions continue to be the single […]

Making good metrics into better metrics

The last two weeks I’ve been dancing around the topic of metrics without getting to the point, which is: How are things? More importantly, how do you know? Most businesses have some metrics. Some are very data-driven, some are barely so and there are plenty in between those two points. One of the differences between the very […]

18 questions to increase sales

This week, I’ve been working on metrics because I can’t have my fingers in every pie at once – at least not once the number of pies grows beyond my ability to manage them all in my head at the same time. Even if you can do that, it’s very difficult to sense where changes […]

Big Data, Small Business

Last week, we talked about questions. Questions tend to produce answers and more questions, which can result in a pile of stuff that overwhelms a small business. As a business and client base scales, these questions produce data that you can use for guidance, decision making and to ask even better questions. Again, this can […]

Pricing custom work well is a strategic advantage

How good is your business at pricing custom work? If you don’t have a way of pricing custom work that consistently accounts for your costs and labor, how do you know if you’re making any profit on these deals? How would it feel to find that you’re losing money on half your custom work? Do […]

Where does new business hide?

In every town, there’s a place where new business hides. If you can’t find its hiding place, your business is likely to struggle. Most of the time, that struggle is rooted in the inability to dependably produce predictable, month to month revenue. Without predictable month to month revenue, businesses close, scale down or at the […]

Habits and Heatmaps

photo credit: opensourceway Here’s your sign. While it is a well-known “redneck” comedian punch line, it’s also something you should be looking for. Some signs you must seek out, while others have been right in front of you all year long. Many of those signs are buried in your existing business data. Habits Your business data illustrates your customers’ […]

Billboards and plumber’s pants

photo credit: psyberartist Drive around long enough and you’ll see a billboard that says “If you’re looking, it’s working”. I see the same slogan on electronic advertising displays, which can be found everywhere from restaurant restrooms and gyms to billboards. Is it “working” when you accidentally glance at the back of a plumber’s pants when […]

Profit vs. Market Share. You choose.

photo credit: alancleaver_2000 Today’s guest post is from Mark Sigal at O’Reilly, and speaks to your focus in your market. Pay close attention to the comments about profit vs. market share. I live in Verizon country. No AT&T here, at least not yet. All you hear and read is about how Android devices are outselling […]

Are you measuring the future or the past?

photo credit: cyberuly Recently, I’ve found myself involved in a multitude of conversations about community benefit organizations and education. Something Hildy said reminded me that I need to discuss running those two entities “like a business”. One of the first things that you hear from business people after a story in the news about a […]