3 tips to monitor your business with the right KPIs

Identifying the right KPIs to follow up the health of your business is more an art than a science.

We are trying to find the KEY performance indicators, not a bunch of data collected in a huge Excel document.

This is what we do at Hoshinplan.com to make sure that we are tracking the right data.

1. Easy

Is the data behind this KPI easy to collect and straight-forward to understand?

Sometimes the ideal KPI is extremely difficult to capture. Or collecting it makes it so hard that maybe we can’t have it with the right frequency.

Most of the times, a good-enough but easy-to-capture KPI is a lot better than another one that might take us weeks to start tracking.

The same principle applies when it comes to understanding the KPI: change the KPI if you feel that lots of discussions arise when you try to interpret what has happened based on it.

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2. Actionable

If this KPI turns red, is there something I can act upon right away?

What could be more frustrating than seeing a KPI tumbling down and not being able to act? When setting your dashboard, make sure that your KPIs are actionable and that if something goes wrong, you can set a plan to change the trend.

3. Forecast

Does the KPI give time to act prior to disaster?

There is actually something even more frustrating than having non-actionable KPIs: having KPIs that tell us the truth so late that there is little we can do to change.

Make sure that you have all kinds of KPIs when you define your dashboard:

  • Control KPIs: These ones will just show you critical aspects of your business that do not require specific attention, unless they drop below a certain limit.
  • Process KPIs: These figures should guarantee that, if there is a good performance, we will probably reach our goals. A good and very easy example comes from sales: given a historical conversion rate, how many visits/calls is our sales force doing might be a good process KPI that shows in advance if we will reach the sales goals or not.
  • Result KPIs: These KPIs should show you your final goals clearly. To make sure that even in the long run you are following up on them properly, our suggestion would be to imagine curves of your ideal accomplishment, and track (weekly, monthly) if the company is performing accordingly or not.

So that’s it, hope it has been useful.


P.s. If you liked this post, then two things come next:

1) Leave a comment and tell me how do you identify the right KPIs. We love comments!
2) Tell a friend, your Twitter followers, or your Facebook network about this blog 🙂

Answer these 3 questions and set the long-term goals for your company

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” Seneca

Strategy is all about vision and knowing which port one is sailing. But sometimes it’s hard to identify the key strategic goals that will guide our company to success.

Here are the 3 key questions we have always asked ourselves when setting the long-term goals of our company.

What will you see in three/five/ten years time once your company is successful?

Imagination is one of the most powerful tools we have. And we can use it to identify our vision of success. Take some time, relax and imagine: how will success look like?

If you find it hard to make it concrete, do the following exercise: Imagine you are reading the newspaper and you find an article highlighting how successful your company has been. What will you read? Now, go and write this article.

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What is our Unique Value Proposition (UVP) today, how will we improve it in the future and how can we properly deliver it along the way?

Every time we have discussed the answer to this question we have realised:

  1. We don’t have a clear UVP and this is why the business is not succeeding… or…
  2. We have it, but our tactics are not that clear when building everything around this UVP.

If you have used Ash Maurya‘s Leancanvas or Alex Ostwerwalder‘s Business Model Canvas you already have discussed about your UVP.

If not, you should write down a UVP that states what your product or service is, for whom and why is it better than competitors’.

You might start trying to answer this innocent question and end up drawing a competitors’ landscape analysis. If so, maybe it means you had to. 🙂

What motivates you and your organisation most when thinking about the future of your company?

Yes, we know, maybe this is not the kind of question you were thinking of when setting your long-term goals, right? But still, this is probably one of the most important questions to answer.

As a leader, do you want to invest your energy and your team’s efforts on something that is not interesting enough?

If you have done right, probably you already have good answers to the previous two questions, but still you need to focus to set an even clearer direction.

Use motivation to chose the most interesting piece of your business and to discard the rest.

At the end of this exercise you should have a maximum of three long-term goals to communicate to your team.


P.s. If you liked this post, then two things come next:

1) Leave a comment and tell me how do you set your long term goals. We love comments!
2) Tell a friend, your Twitter followers, or your Facebook network about this blog 🙂