Oh, you thought that since March Madness is over that I wouldn’t shoehorn another metaphor? You thought wrongly.
I’m here with some ideas for how you and your business should be “keeping score” today. (See what I did there? … um … because in sports you keep score? Alright. More coffee please.)
But before I dive into that, because this is the final week before personal federal taxes are due, I have some tax business I should cover.
In addition to the filing of your personal taxes, here are some other deadlines that fall on April 15th this year:
1) Estimated taxes for the first quarter are due.
2) Want to open or contribute to an IRA or Roth IRA for 2018? Gotta get that done by Monday the 15th.
3) Final day to max out contributions for your 2018 HSA (Health Savings Account).
4) Claim any refund money from an unfiled 2015 return. (There is $1.4 BILLION in unclaimed refund money out there for that year — but only available if you didn’t file.)
5) Most states’ tax deadlines also fall on the 15th. (Exceptions – DE 4/30; HI 4/22; IA 4/30; LA 5/15; ME 4/17; MA 4/17; OK 4/20; SC 5/1; VA 5/1; any state with no income tax.)
Also, you’re a business owner … you know the importance of this: would you leave us a review on Google or other online platforms?
Now … onward to keeping score — er, tracking your numbers.
Tracking Your Key Business Metrics For Your Company
“With acceptance comes opportunities. And with opportunities come numbers and, most importantly, hope.” – Julie Foudy
If you are involved in making decisions for your business’ growth, then you know: it’s a numbers game.
There is inherent value in creating sales and marketing goals, and there’s also value in measuring those goals on a week-to-week basis. At quarter’s end, sales and marketing results will indicate if quantitative data was left out of your organization’s process. In other words, if you fail to track numbers at the beginning of the quarter, you won’t be happy with your numbers at the end of the quarter.
I want to discuss how your team can begin measuring numbers with consistency, because the reality is that numbers are too important to ignore.
One of the hardest things about tracking your numbers (read: growth or decline) is transparency. It’s hard to let others in on the reality of your business’ sales and marketing efforts, especially if there’s underperformance. But that’s exactly why you should press for such transparency.
The more your team knows the numbers and what to strive for, the greater sense of urgency and ownership your employees will possess.
Of course, calculating any amount of numbers, goals and metrics takes time. But it’s worth carving out a few minutes each week in the long run. I want to encourage you to conduct a meeting with necessary team members, once a week, to go over a weekly scorecard.
Don’t get complacent with lazy systems in your office. If tracking numbers is lacking numbers, it’s time to step up and change the status quo.
This stuff is science. Quite literally (testing and solving and testing again until you get it right). But you don’t need to make it … say it with me … rocket science.
Here are the sorts of business metrics you can track in a weekly scorecard…
- Price, term, refund and premium tests for profit
- Customer acquisition and retention
- Advertising response rates (digital and print)
- How many in the new prospect pipeline (and their collective cost benefit)
- New and qualified leads
- New sales meetings
- Revenue streams in concordance with your team’s budget
- Other such items specific to your business — only you know what should go in this scorecard column
The biggest component here is that you actually do it. If you already keep a scorecard, that’s great! How consistently do you go over the numbers yourself or with your team? The medium can be as simple as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Don’t let the method or “prettiness” factor prevent you from taking action and implementing a weekly scorecard at the beginning, middle and end of your process. You’ll like the final result.
We’d love to have further conversations about this topic, and to help you see the opportunities, and potential traps, within your business.
Feel free to share this post with any of your business associates or clients you know who could benefit from our assistance. While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for families and business owners.
Dickmann Tax Group