Whatever you are wanting to get more of be it: Increasing your revenues, scaling your business, or growing your team. Whatever it might be that you’re wanting to get more of, numbers are going to help you. That’s why they’re so valuable. Some people blow them off but the truth is: Avoid them at your peril. Join me in the series and today’s episode and find the gold and fun in numbers!
Increasing your revenues scaling your business growing your team, whatever it might be that you’re wanting to get more of, numbers are going to help you. That’s why they’re so valuable. So let’s roll up our sleeves as I like to say, and we’ll get down to business.
I’m starting a three part series on numbers, and I have talked to a number of entrepreneurs, number of entrepreneurs about numbers. Folks sometimes shy away from them. They know what they do, but getting numbers figured out and spreadsheet tonight stuff can be a bit daunting scaring frustrating mind boggling boring. A whole bunch of words can be added in there. They can be very useful and are a key to growing your business and that’s what is the important thing.
The key to growing your business isn’t necessarily math but it’s understanding the numbers, and that’s what I want to get into. Today’s episode is going to be focused on the big picture of why numbers are important and the value that they can bring to growing your business because that is the point.
I, years ago, wasn’t the best at numbers. I’ll out myself. I was doing engineering at the systems engineering program, and I failed calculus, I needed to take course over. I remember sitting down and getting help from a professor, he was I believe a Turkish gentleman had a strong accent. I remember him saying this phrase he said: “Tom there’s no royal road to Calculus”. I always liked how he said calculus. It was something that I was trying to take a shortcut on. I was trying to get around it.
I remember him smiling at me, I was struggling with some equations that we were working on, I was in his office for office hours. He put his pen down, and he explained to me that there’s just no shortcut. Just to be okay with it, and to navigate and manage through it. I just slow down and relaxed and kind of smiled when he said that. Okay, I get it.
That’s what I want to encourage you with. Is if numbers are either you know those yucky, ugly words that I had earlier of frustrating, boring, don’t know what the point is, or do you just hate math and therefore you don’t like numbers. Set that aside just slow down, because they are your friend.
I worked with an entrepreneur and was coaching them, and they really didn’t like numbers or math. And what I helped them do is reframe it and I’ll throw this out to you. And I’m spending a moment on this because if you do like numbers and enjoy it, then you get this, but some of you might not. And so I want to work with you to help you understand and reframe it and it was this. Look at the meaning behind the numbers, because they aren’t just numbers and frankly never are, there’s always a story, there’s always some kind of meaning behind what the numbers represent.
And if you’re not a numbers person you’re more a people person or a relationship person, don’t like the logical thinking stuff. Seek the meaning behind the numbers. What are they meaning? What do they represent? What’s the story? What’s happening with those numbers because that really is the juicy part, the valuable part and the interesting part. So focus on that.
1. Because here’s the thing. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
I’ll say that again: you can’t manage what you don’t measure. If you’re not measuring something you can’t manage it. It’s out of control. As you’re growing and scaling your business you need to be able to manage what’s going on and control what’s going on. And you need to grab handles on those things.
2. The best way to do that is with numbers. Keeping track is the key. That’s the next point. So you can’t manage what you don’t measure, and you got to measure with numbers. The next piece is keeping track, even if it’s as simple as tallying. Keeping track of calls. Keeping track of customer service requests. Keeping track of see those are all numbers. And when we get a number of 52, or 36, or 92 like whatever the number is because you measured it you can now manage it.
And when you keep track of something, it becomes manageable. What’s important is, you’re keeping track. This big picture concept of keeping track of things.
3. The third point I want to make is where it’s kind of a, it’s a quantitative element I like to talk about the quantitative, and the qualitative. So quantitative is like how much in quantity in the hard logical stuff. And then the qualitative is more on the softer stuff. Which is the experience. The quality of the experience. What’s happening with it. And so here comes this softer concept here it is important.
And that is where your attention goes energy is flowing. So if you’re keeping track of something. If you’ve got a process in your business that is hiccupping that is broken. In need of repair. Has fires, starting in it all the time. All these different things need some management. You need some attention going there. One of the ways you can add attention to something is to: keep track.
There’s a book I read years ago, titled “The Millionaire Next Door”. What the author set out to do with this was, find out what made millionaires tick. So he set up a bunch of interviews. He figured well, people come to the interview, we’ll have a little waiting area and we’ll have some caviar. We’ll have some hors d’oeuvres and we’ll have some champagne and fancy stuff. It’s what he thought. And what was interesting is, nobody ever touched the fancy stuff. So they stopped putting it out. He had a lot of preconceived notions of what millionaires thought. And the bottom line and the take home message from the book, after I read it I thought was the one thing that this book is setting forth in a lesson I can learn and it is: keeping track. I call it KT’ing.
K T, keep track. The action of doing that is adding an “ing” on the end. “KT’ing” I’ve kind of made my own term with what are you keeping track of?
You keep track of things. Your attention goes there, and you start paying attention to it. You’re able to start to fix. To build. To enhance. To grow. To stamp the fires out. Do you know what I mean? When you are keeping track.
And so keeping track can look like any number of things. Pick any process in your business that you want to grow and scale right now. For a lot of folks, it’s revenue. I’ll give an example of that but it might be an operations thing or it might be a customer service thing. Depending on what it is, just start keeping track. And if it’s as simple as tallying.
4. And that’s the fourth thing I want to describe is tallying things is super valuable. Then you can begin to manage just with the simple act of having a little slip of paper. And then focusing on a particular activity, and then hash marks. As kids used to count that way. You have 1234… 5 cross the four bars out, keeping track. Tally some more 1234… 5, 1234… 5.
How many times did x happen? Fill in the blank on what x is? If it’s revenue. If you’re working on sales calls and increasing your revenue. How many calls did you make today. Just start tallying it. Set a goal and keep track. K T of what you were doing to get there. Maybe you want to get a little more granular right that’s that big picture. How many calls did you make sure that’s an easy one.
How many times did you ask the person in your sales call for micro commitments. Here is some advanced sales stuff. Let’s really dig in there. Just making a call. Cool that’s one thing. But if you want to get to a better metric that will increase your sales? How many questions did you ask the person, where they said the word yes to? Simple tiny things. Hey, can you hear me well? Yes. That’s a simple way of walking through your scripting. Not that you have a robotic kind of script to use but in your discussion in the journey you take someone on as you present to them your sales presentation, whether it’s on the phone or whether it’s live. How many times can you ask them, yes questions?
So that you are moving forward with that sales process. I don’t want to get into sales training right now, but that’s when you can tally. You can keep track on this sales call I asked five questions that lead to a yes answer. I asked six this time. Great! I to ask nine questions. Nine times my average is nine times. If you start tallying and keeping track of your sales call. Pick a number on something. Pick an activity that is important and valuable. Useful. And then start tallying how much you do that activity. Huge way to grow your business. We just talked about a sales revenue example.
Let’s talk about an operations, example. If you’re needing to get your operations cranked up. Start looking at your processes. See where can I identify an activity that is critical and key. Maybe it’s a manufacturing process. Maybe it’s in a delivery process. Maybe it’s in the creation of stuff. I don’t know what it is. You fill in that blank. But find an activity that you can keep track of. That you can K T it. Then tally 1234… 5, 1234… 5. What can you add up when these are done?
Maybe it’s quality service check. Maybe it’s a quality inspection in your manufacturing process. Maybe there aren’t enough checks done. You’re getting too many rejects at the end of the line of a manufacturing process or an assembly process, and it’s like wow, you know what, we need to check this more along the way. We currently have four in place. Let’s double that to eight. Let’s triple it. Let’s get 12 checks in our process now.
Where are the spots, I can add these in. Now I can analyze my process and see, is the quality changed? Because we just added 12 checks when we had four. We’ve tripled it. Oh, nice. My reject numbers are going way down. My manufacturing process has way higher quality. Awesome! Let’s talk about customer service. Tally how many calls you got. I mean that’s the first one. Okay, great. We’re getting too many calls. Wow.
Let’s dig deeper. Let’s reverse back into the process. When we made the sale, and we handed off the product to the customer. What does that conversation look like? What are we saying to them? Maybe we need to say, and set different expectation because we’ve got dissatisfied customers calling back. There’s too many of them. Maybe that last point of handoff is a key place I can change my language and set some different expectations.
How many times have we done that? Let’s start tracking that. Let’s look at that conversation. Identify an activity and start to tally it. That can make a huge difference. Pick what it is in your process. It’s not necessarily about math. It’s about numbers, and the story behind them, and the meaning you give them. It becomes important where you are managing things that you have handles on. And you don’t get handles on stuff until you get numbers on it. So measure with numbers, then you can manage. And when you are measuring, you’re able to keep track. And when you keep track. You can grow.
Growth happens with keeping track. And that was, to reemphasize it, and if I didn’t mention it earlier with finishing the story about the book called The Millionaire Next Door.
What they found was millionaires didn’t care about fancy stuff. What the key to their success was is they kept track. They kept track of all kinds of things. And because they kept track they were able to manage bigger and bigger numbers. Bigger and bigger revenue. That was the key to their success. That wasn’t that anyone was privileged. That’s what the author found and all his interviews he interviewed dozens of millionaires. They weren’t privileged. They weren’t specially gifted.
Matter of fact, they were pretty Spartan. And that’s why none of them wanted the fancy food and snacks and stuff. Because they’re like wow that’s a waste of money. Oh, I guess that’s why they’re millionaires. Because they don’t spend their money on lavish things that don’t matter. Most of them drove domestic cars. A Ford or a Chevy. They weren’t driving fancy cars. Most millionaires are pretty Spartan frugal. Why do you think they’re millionaires? Because they save their money and they keep track of their money. I’m gonna wrap and ended it there.
Thank you for joining me. We’re talking about all things business. About the tools, systems, and processes you need to become a seven, and eight figure business owner and entrepreneur. I want to help you with numbers. We’re doing this three part series. This was part one of three. And we’re having a lot of fun here talking about all things business. Stay safe. We’ll catch up soon.
Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed the show please rate and recommend. Highly of course! On iTunes. On Overcast or wherever it is you subscribe to your podcasts. You can get more great information on this episode, it’s show notes, and our other episodes and shows, at TheProfitableMaverick.com. That’s The Profitable Maverick.com. Until next time, get out there, live more, love more, and be a more profitable Maverick!
- Book: The Millionaire Nextdoor by Thomas Stanley and William Danko.
How Do YOU Keep Track?
Your business is not near as profitable as it could be if you are not keeping track of numbers. How and in what ways are you KT'ing (Keeping Track)?
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