How Driving Your Business is Like Driving Your Car

If your business was a car, what kind of car would it be? Imagine yourself behind the wheel, driving to your ultimate destination.

Are you driving a sleek sports car with custom ordered leather seats and all the bells and whistles?
What about a full length pickup with extended cab and hemi engine for maximum torque and power?
Imagine enjoying the scenery as you drive down the road with your favourite music playing in the background and that perfect coffee in hand. You fly through the traffic light and can’t quite recall whether it was green or red!

You’ve been there, right? Tell me I’m not alone; that I’m not the only one who goes on autopilot when I least expect it.  You’re halfway to work and not quite sure how you got there as the distractions of the day ahead of you have taken over.

Driving your business is like driving your car.

You go to work every day, sometimes with great intentions of making a big impact and then real life sets in with constant interruptions and unexpected challenges.  And before you know it, you find yourself at the end of the day not quite sure of what you have really accomplished.  Your “to do” list hasn’t gotten any smaller and everything on it seems to be a priority.

The good news is that you can take action and do something about it.  Let’s go back to our car analogy.

Now the question becomes, what measurements do you need in front of you to maximize your performance this year? When looking at what key measurements you should focus on to overcome your unique challenge within the next 12 months, it is important to ask yourself a few key questions:

  • Can your challenge be accurately measured?

If you cannot accurately measure the challenge in front of you or if it cannot be done in a timely manner, then don’t do it.  Focus on something else because this measurement is adding very little value.

  • Is this challenge detrimental to your performance?

If you are measuring performance in an area that seems to be running smoothly and hasn’t been a challenge for a while, don’t focus on it.  It is just white noise that leads to distraction. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  • Does this challenge fit into your list of Top 6 Priorities?

As business owners, we all know that there are limited time and resources in any given day.  If a certain KPI doesn’t represent a top priority that will make a significant difference in your business, put it into your Nice-to-Know-But-I’ll-Deal-With-That-Later pile.

  • Am I prepared to react to the measurement?

This is the key question you need to ask yourself.  Once you have the measurement in front of you, are you going to do anything about it?  Because if you are not, then don’t spend the time and energy creating the measurement in the first place.

Let’s circle back.  Key Performance Indicators are the CAR (Catch And React) dashboard that sits in front of you.  A good driver will look at them once in a while and take corrective action when necessary, but for the most part is on auto-pilot.

A great driver will share the information their dashboard is telling them to the rest of the team.  They take a more proactive stand; review their dashboard on a regularly scheduled basis and puts action plans in place to improve results.

Only with all departments (sales, operations and finance) working together towards common goals, can you maximize your company’s performance and ensure a smooth, pleasant and rewarding journey.

For a list of typical KPI’s that home builder and renovators use, feel free to contact me.  I’d be happy to send you one.