KEY BUSINESS METRICS

THE DASHBOARD

Every CEO needs a Dashboard to effectively generate weekly reports that capture the essence of how the business is doing. This report consists of the Marketing and Lead Generation, Sales, Operational Effectiveness and Financial: Cash, Profit and Health.

MARKETING AND LEAD GENERATION

We need leads if we ever hope of acquiring customers.†Our dashboard should include the top two to four metrics for measuring our lead generation.†These may include number of visits to our website and percentage of those visitors that become qualified leads.†The key here is to focus on the processes you are currently employing to market and generate leads and measure on your dashboard the efficacy of these efforts.†The cost of acquiring a lead should be included if it is measurable (and it almost always is).

SALES

Obviously a lead is still useless to our business if we cannot convert the lead into a paying customer.†Conversion of leads to customers is a critical element of most dashboards.†In addition, total sales should be included so we know how our volume is doing on at least a weekly basis.†Sales should be communicated in terms of dollars, number of sellable units, and average pricing.

OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS

Since sales is responsible to turn the leads into paying customers, we desire to satisfy and retain the customer as long possible as effectively and efficiently as possible.†The point here is to structure our business model so that we deliver everything we promise for as little cost as possible.†Let's review a couple of examples.

If I am a shopping center manager, I am concerned about tenant mix, retention of existing tenant, ability to attract new tenants, quality of tenants, and perception of tenants by the public.†I am also very concerned with ratios like sales per store per square foot; overall traffic, traffic by store, sales volumes by seasons, and effectiveness of promotions vs. cost of staging.

We should consider three additional metrics on our dashboard that deal with operations.†First, we need an indicator of our current utilization of our total available capacity.† Second, customer satisfaction and retention metrics is a valuable barometer for ongoing sales.†And, third, a measure of product or service quality levels.

FINANCIAL - CASH, PROFIT, & HEALTH

We should know what is happening with all of our tenants within the center, tracking anomalies on a daily basis, which usually includes cash.

We may want to include some of major current liabilities, like accounts payable and line of credit balances.†This information leads to the tracking of the firmís current ratio on a weekly basis and other versions of the current ratio that traditionally predict cash flow with pinpoint accuracy. In doing so, we can make adjustments quickly and efficiently to control, maintain and, ultimately enhance our position.

CONCLUSION

Imagine having all of that information every week along with being in our business every day.†Not only will we feel empowered to make the right decisions to improve cash, profits, and financial health, but we will see our level of anxiety (which comes from a lack of this information) drop significantly.†Even if the dashboard reports bad news, knowing about it will still reduce our anxiety because we will at least have the opportunity to do something about it before it becomes worse. The result is always the same - better information generates better decisions, and better decisions lead to improved performance.

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