Great article by Chris Brogan – focus on the core measurements for your own business!

Posted: February 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

apple cores

It’s so easy to get distracted. Sometimes, we even build metrics to help us get distracted. Yes, we can really gauge lots of things that don’t need measurement. Or, if we don’t even care about that, we can just run around doing lots of things that don’t need doing. Distractions are practically a coin of the realm these days. We can get an inbox full of distractions every day. It’s amazing how un-helpful the universe can be when it comes to doing what needs doing.

It’s up to us to focus on the core.

What’s the Core?

The core is obviously different for everyone. Your business isn’t the same as my business. And realistically, there are anywhere from 3-5 cores, but rarely any more. The core is what matters most to the continued existence of your business.

Simplest cores: new customers, flow of product/service, support for existing customers. Those are three cores. If you’re a consultant, for instance, or if you sell ice cream, those are the three things that are core to your business: getting new customers, providing them with the product they want, and supporting any needs or issues that come up in the delivery of that product or service.

We can talk about just how complex these cores are. Think about that middle one: flow of product/service. That’s a lot of moving parts, depending on what you offer. But, it’s important to keep the very simple view in our heads when we talk about how to improve everything.

Simply, by focusing on the core, we will grow the rest of our business and we will have time and place for our nuances.

Focus on the Core

If you want to have meaningful metrics, put down three measures that match to the cores of your business.

New Customers: 17
Flow of Product: 90 sold (or 97% capacity, or whatever you want to measure)
Support: 7 (down from 11)

If you had a little spreadsheet that asked you for three core metrics every day, and if everyone in the company was held accountable to things that served those metrics (if there’s more than you at the business), wouldn’t things be a lot more obvious?

Yes, this is simplified. If you’re a PR manager at BMW, you probably have a very different set of cores that don’t relate at all to the baseline of the business. They’re much more abstract. They might be “# of clippings counted” or something equally vague and not clearly tied to the larger mission. But even then, knowing what your cores are for your specific branch of your business matter.

It’s a lot easier with small businesses. If you run the home of the best hamburgers in Milwaukee, you probably know these cores and they can be a lot simpler.

What are YOUR Cores?

If you had to write down 3-5 baseline core essential measurements that would tell anyone how you were doing, what would you share? What matters most to your business? How does this match with your current measurements?

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