Tweak the tiller, adjust your course
In this week's episode, Nigel is telling a story that may (on the surface of it) not seem very BGC worthy.
But there's a lesson you should take on board to make sure you don't fall into this trap...
Nigel - Hi, welcome to Business Growth Central where, this morning, a very unusual thing happened. So I'm filming this on a Monday morning and Monday morning, at eight o'clock, in my business, my leadership team and I sit down for our weekly meeting, and at that meeting, we review our score card And on this particular day, as well as the scorecard, by pure coincidence, happens occasionally, a couple of times a year, also our finance team were presenting us with the monthly management accounts. And what would you know, but no sooner had I come out of that meeting, then into my inbox popped an email from my accountant with our annual accounts all finished and done, ready to sign off.
Nigel - [Electronic Voice] Moderately interesting, Nige, but not worthy of an episode of Business Growth Central, surely.
Nigel - [Normal Voice] I hear you cry. Well it is, you see, because most people in business, statistically, most businesses in the country get to look at their numbers once a year. They get their annual accounts and they usually get them, from their accountant, kind of six or seven or eight months after the year-end. Hold that thought for a minute. Some progressive, switched-on business owners will get monthly management accounts. It's really important, especially if you're on a high-growth trajectory. So those people are looking at their numbers at least 12 times a year. And then we've got the really switched-on business owners, and these are the ones that typically are making the biggest, fastest, most progress 'cause they've got a scorecard like mine. Something we've talked about a number of times in our planning events last year and the Ad Astra workshop that we did, 'cause the power of a scorecard is it keeps you focused on a weekly basis. And if you're looking at your numbers on a weekly basis, well, you get 52 chances to kind of tweak the tiller and adjust your course. Come out here. And of course, if you've invested in some , which we talked about last year, and you've got a scoreboard like this, well then you can look at your numbers every single day. And when you're doing that with a CCTV camera so you can even check in on the scoreboard at weekends, well now you've got access to your numbers on a daily basis, and that means you can pay attention and tweak the tiller and change course 365 times a year. Because what I've discovered, over the years, it's one of the key elements in properly getting to understand your numbers in business, is the frequency with which you interact with them. I mean, just think about it. The logic's pretty clear, isn't it? You get your numbers once a year. They ain't shaping your business very much. Get you numbers 12 times a year, hey, at least you're in the game, you can do something. Start to get a weekly scorecard in place, 52 chances every year to take stock of what's happening with the numbers, tweak the tiller, and adjust the course. Or, with a real live scoreboard, it doesn't have to be an electronic one like that, it can be a whiteboard that's got the right numbers on, but it starts to mobilize and focus your team. And it's not just the overall numbers that the accountants might pay attention to. What about your marketing as well? I had a chat, last week, with a very smart guy who has been paying £100 a lead to a lead generation service. And he wasn't very happy with what he'd been getting. 110 leads he'd had, so he'd spent £11,000, and he'd only managed, throughout the whole of last year, to convert three of them. Oh, he was having a right old whinge and whine about the poor quality of leads that he was getting through. I said, "You know those three sales, "how much were they worth?" £320,000, it turns out. "So are you honestly telling me "you wouldn't pay the 11 grand "and Wade through the 107 fairly poor-quality leads "to get to the three little gems "that were worth over 300 grand?" Phew, light bulbs went off, and I know it's obvious when I'm telling the story, but people don't do it. So many people are keen, over-keen, way overenthusiastic to embrace the mantra, "Oh, the quality of leads is a bit shit." It's dumb, and it's only done by people that don't understand their numbers, and the reason they don't understand the numbers is 'cause they're not engaging with them with the right level of frequency. So without being too preachy, this episode of Business Growth Central has a very specific action for you, because I really do want to encourage you to start engaging with your numbers more, whether it is your turnover and your margins and your sales, or it's the number of leads, or your conversion rates, the key numbers that are going to be responsible for driving your business to where you want it to be because the higher the frequency, the better the results. Back next week, more BGC then, bye-bye! So today's takeaway, you can't win the game, if you don't know the score.
Man Off Camera - You actually can, you can still win.
Matt the Butler - So today's takeaway So today's takeaway, So today's takeaway, if you don't know the score, you can't tell whether you're winning or losing, simple as that. Matt, how'd the Villa get on last night?
[Man Off Camera] - Nil-nil.
MtB - Nil-nil?
[Man Off Camera] - Yeah.
MtB - What was the score at halftime?