Nothing is ever guaranteed in the world of business, and there are just as many paths to failure as there are to success. That’s why understanding the fundamental value of processes and how to utilize KPIs for your business is imperative for its growth. A process is a set guide that helps you achieve the result you desire, but these are just motions without stats to support them and goals to achieve.
Our owner/CEO, Derek Sommer, recently spoke about this very topic at Vision Conference 2019. He not only shared his experiences but discussed in detail several processes that have helped our company succeed over the years. Below are a few steps Derek provided at the conference that we wanted to share for anyone who was unable to attend.
Set Business Goals
First you must determine the behavior you’re trying to change or improve. For example, as a business owner, you would like your sales team to have X number of calls each week. Start with a reasonable goal. Maybe that means 30 calls each week. As they achieve these goals, increase that number until it reaches a cap, but don’t stop there. Start increasing other items like face-to-face meetings or actual sales.
TIP: You can talk to your CPA to get the figures for companies in your industry. Use this information to exceed industry standard. Determine the steps needed to make those numbers, put together the goal and timing, break it down into smaller goals and timing, track it and update as needed.
Why do you need KPIs? KPIs, Key Performance Indicators, help you reach the company goals and targets. There are usually smaller goals that need to be reached first, and KPIs help you understand those. Once you have your goal set, work backwards. Treat this as you would a marathon: You don’t just walk out the door and run 26.2 miles without proper training. You run a mile one day, a few more the next week and so on until the big race. The KPI in this example would be “miles ran each day” with the goal being a marathon.
Because humans are competitive by nature, people like challenges and objectives. KPIs communicate to the team where things stand. This in turn increases morale, as they can see how they’re participating in the bigger picture. When employees can see how their part contributes to the company, you can expect an increase in productivity. Employees can better hold themselves and each other accountable.
TIP: If you’re overly ambitious with your goals, it may have the opposite effect on your employees by discouraging them when they can’t meet the goals. Remember to be reasonable with the progression.
Maintain KPI Relevance
When you’re receiving dozens of emails and reports a day, it’s easy for things to blend in and become white noise. For this reason, it’s important that your reports are easy to read, something that you can glance at and understand where your business stands. We encourage you to understand that KPIs should always be evolving. It doesn’t make sense to keep track of KPIs that aren’t relevant to your business as it grows and evolves. These charts show the evolution of tracking our sales team from the first version to the fourth and most recent. As our business evolved, our goals evolved, and therefore we needed KPIs to reflect the new goals rather than the prior goals.
TIP: Place monitors around your office to display the KPIs you’d like to know at a moment’s notice. As a quick example for placement, Spud Software has one monitor displayed at the top of the stairs to show hours worked and hours billed. The graph displays red for every hour under what is expected and green for hours worked over what is expected. The green and red are easy to spot, even from halfway down the stairs, so it’s clear where the business stands even as passing.
Spud Software would love to help you find a business software solution that helps track your KPIs, achieve goals, allows for easy access to reporting and keeps your processes in place. Give us a call at 810-695-0001 or fill out a form when you’re ready to start the conversation.
This past Friday Spud Software’s owner, Derek Sommer, had the honor of presenting the keynote speech for the 2019 Vision Conference, which was hosted by ECO. His presentation offered invaluable insight into his thought processes and experience that will surely prove useful to many business owners and entrepreneurs who attended.
Sommer’s keynote jumpstarted the day explaining how in business, you’re either growing or dying. This subject was broken down into 3 main talking points which included identifying and eliminating roadblocks, along with preparing for growth. The thought process being that identifying your roadblocks is crucial in order to keep your business from dying. When you learn to identify your roadblocks you will in turn have the ability to properly understand how to eliminate them. This will then allow you to prepare your business for growth appropriately.
For those of you who were unable to attend the Vision Conference, here’s a summarized breakdown of these three points that were discussed by Derek.
1. Identify Roadblocks
Roadblocks, which can also be known as blind spots, are obstacles to your success. There are 3 kinds that Sommer covered during his presentation: ones you know exist and are working on, ones you know exist and haven’t dealt with, ones you know exist and don’t want to deal with. The sooner they are identified, the more time and money a business owner can save.
You should understand your roadblocks by asking for feedback and listening to your business partners, your clients and your employees. Once identified, you can narrow in on how to eliminate them.
2. Eliminate the Roadblocks
Business owners and entrepreneurs are certainly rock stars, but you must know you can’t do it all – you need a team to support you. A team can include but is not limited to your accountants, lawyers, insurance providers, financial advisors, HR/recruiting agencies, product suppliers, service suppliers and marketing/PR agencies. Use these partners to supplement your knowledge and strengthen your business.
Importantly, don’t be your own roadblock: Stop giving away your services for free or at cost for friends and family and maintain your focus on the business rather than in the business.
3. Prepare for Growth
Now that your roadblocks have been eliminated, you can prepare for growth. Sales and marketing are absolutely important. However, no matter how much money or time you invest into sales and marketing, it comes down to whether you have the people, resources and processes to handle the work. If these things aren’t in place, it will end poorly.
In order to avoid growing pains, stay ahead of recruiting efforts, have a plan for seamless onboarding, maintain your equipment, understand your financials and lead by example.
As a business owner, ensure that you’re taking the time to identify and eliminate any roadblocks preventing your business or yourself from growing. Spud Software specializes in creating business software solutions so that you can stay ahead of roadblocks and know exactly where your business stands at a moment’s notice. Give us a call or fill out a form to begin the conversation.
This week Derek Sommer will be presenting at the 2019 Vision Conference as a keynote speaker! Of course, everyone in the office is extremely excited to see our accomplished leader represent Spud in front of a wide audience comprised of business owners and entrepreneurs who hope to take their dealings to the next level. And why shouldn’t we? After all, with his 22+ years of experience as a business owner, Sommer has learned a thing or two, and on Friday, September 20th, he’s willing to share some of his secrets to success.
During his first presentation, you’ll learn how to identify your company’s roadblocks that prohibit your businesses growth, as well as methods in which you can overcome them. Roadblocks can be hard to detect, so don’t be surprised if you learn about some you’ve never even considered while you’re attending the conference on Friday. From there, he’ll share some examples of roadblocks he’s experienced during his own career as well as important ways in which you can prepare for your company’s growth upon overcoming its own obstacles.
In his second presentation, Sommer will share his knowledge of how to use KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for business growth during a breakout session. Learn how to appropriately set business goals that will positively affect your company culture and business. During this session, Sommer will also share his tips on how to maintain KPI relevance so they don’t just become “white noise” to your company.
Join Derek Sommer and 11 other entrepreneurs at the Vision Conference 2019 if you’re ready to take your business to the next level! Learn more about Vision Conference and secure your tickets here. We hope to see you there!
Now that summer has come to its conclusion, it’s that time of year once again to enjoy the annual PGA Tour proceedings. Luckily for us, we just so happen to have such an event right in our own neighborhood! It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year since The Ally Challenge was brought into the fold, but since its inclusion it has already become a highly sought-out event in the Grand Blanc area. As a yearly PGA Tour Champions event that started in September of 2018, The Ally Challenge, finds its home at the Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club, just down the road from Spud Software!
The event made its debut in September of 2018 and though it hasn’t been around for long, it’s already become the premier golfing event in the area. Of course that’s not to say the country club is at all inexperienced when it comes to hosting a PGA Tour event. Many individuals might remember the Buick Open was previously held at the same location from 1958 through 2009, as one of the six former PGA Tour sites hosting PGA Tour Champions events.
This period of absence from the professional golfing world was not made idle, however, as the Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club sought out a replacement PGA Tour Champions event as early as the conclusion of the Buick Open. Though it took some time to find a title sponsor, today we have the Detroit-based, Ally Financial to thank for, not only becoming the title sponsor of the event, but for bringing the PGA back to Grand Blanc as well.
Everyone at Spud Software is especially excited for the tournament, as we will have several of our employees attending and volunteering at the event. If you happen to spot any of us enjoying the festivities, come give us a friendly hello!