What should you measure to help meet business goals

Most businesses use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as a measure for gauging business success and meeting their objectives – but while they certainly have their value, to truly measure your goals you need to look forwards, not just backwards.

If you’re only keeping track of KPIs, you lose out on the opportunity to correct issues as they arise, which can take you way off target. So what’s the solution?

Instead of just thinking in terms of KPIs, you also need to implement a forward-thinking measure, such as Critical Success Factors (CSFs). They are very similar in nature but have the subtle difference of telling you what you NEED to do in the future, rather than what you ACTUALLY did in the past.

By identifying and communicating your business’s critical success factors, you’re essentially highlighting the performance elements of your business that are essential to your success – they lay out the steps you need to take in order to achieve your objectives. For example, in order to achieve more sales, you need to create more appointments with prospects – and measuring the latter will tell you whether or not you’re likely to meet your sales target.

You’ll still need to use KPIs as a reflective exercise to measure your success rate, but as you work towards your goals, critical success factors really are critical!

Performance and processes

Once you’ve identified your business goals, take time to set out the factors that are critical to achieving them. This gives you a workable template for processes to help you aim towards success.

So for example, if your goal is to increase productivity, critical success factors may include staffing issues, operational hours, streamlining processes and/or investment in new systems or technology. This guides you towards the actions you need to take to help you navigate your way to the desired outcome. It may be that one measure can become a proxy for several other things, reducing the amount of measures you’re trying to focus on.

It’s worth involving managers and staff in any departments involved in your goals, as they may be able to help you identify the most relevant critical success factors and KPIs. You may also benefit from some outsourced specialist support or training to help you implement a new system to help you manage this effectively. [LN1]

[LN1] Again, a CTA/final wrap but can be removed for the full publication if required.

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