A few years ago I was driving my car home from Bendigo (where I went to Uni) to my hometown, Shepparton - a 90 minute drive. It was about 38 degrees so pretty darn hot. We had the aircon cranking and music playing as we drove down the highway at 100km p/hr.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I lose power. One second we were cruising at 100km p/hr, now the car wouldn't get above 70! (Even with the foot down).
I had no idea what was happening. My friend (who is about as useless as me when it comes to mechanical knowledge also was confused).
We pulled over and stopped for 10 minutes.
We were both worried, confused and stuck in the middle of nowhere.
After waiting about 10 minutes in the heat, i turned the key it back on...she started first go.
Ahhh relief. It's all good (I thought).
Back on the road we go with about 30 minutes left in our journey.
Now the temperature gauge in my car had been broken for months yet I didn't do anything about it.
I knew it was risky but I was too lazy to change - "it will be fine" Turns out it wasn't.
We literally LIMPED into my driveway with the engine spluttering, steaming and about to blow up. I was so naive (and careless).
We got home and I told my mum (who embarrassingly has more car knowledge than me) to which she asked: "well it's hot, what did the temperature gauge say? Did you check the radiator? Or the reserve tank?"
I couldn't answer any of them...I had no idea.
I said the temp gauge was broken but the other stuff I was clueless of where things were at. I never bothered to check (or educate myself) on where they should be.
Instead I played it by chance. Hoping for the best. Driving without my eyes on anything but the road (or taking it in turns of playing DJ).
We took a look under the hood to find the radiator (and reserve tank) BONE DRY.
Turns out if we had driven 5 more minutes, the engine would have literally blown up.
It cost about $1,000 to fix, but I can't help but think how damn close that was to a $10,000 bill (or worse, not having a car for 2-3 months).
Yet why didn't I do anything about it while I could have? Why did I prefer to play it by chance rather than being proactive and getting my temp gauge fixed?
Same goes for your business. So many business owners are simply HOPING for the best.
They spend time formulating the perfect plan at the start of the year, only to get stuck back in the rut of work, life and family without bothering to monitor progress.
Yet let me ask you...
- What would it cost you if things 'blew up'? And I don't just mean in terms of money (although that's very important too), but how would it affect your rent or mortgage payments if you suddenly lost a ton of business?
- What would your family do if your income dropped by half?
- How about your piece of mind?
The problem is 95% of business are not tracking their results.
I use a "Business Dashboard" (pictured below) to keep track of my business each month.
Among other things, it shows me how many conversations I've had, how many leads I've converted, what the value of those leads are and anticipated risks/challenges.
It then allows me to formulate a plan for moving ahead and what I will do to improve next month.
It's very valuable for any business, and I highly recommend you create one for your business.
If you don't know your numbers, you don't know your business.
Stop playing things by chance, join me in March for REDEFINE 2017 and let's get your business to where it needs to be.