One of the important business principles that I have learnt and re-learnt over my business career is that ‘Measurement Drives Action’. Let me explain…
As a corporate bank manager one of my tasks was to enforce the receipt of management information from customers on a monthly basis. This ensured the following:
- that the customer was monitoring their financial performance for themselves
- that the bank could monitor the business performance and ‘step in’ if the business was deviating substantially from the plan that gave rise to the lending in the first place
- that better decisions could be made by both the customer and the bank in relation to the business and its performance.
When I left banking in 2001, I established my business consultancy on the basis that one of the services I could offer was to create and establish management information systems for business to improve their business performance. One successful project that I undertook was to create a management information system for a £6 million turnover business that had 40 different profit/loss centres!
My system enabled the operations manager to see quickly which of the centres were profitable and which were not. Within mere days of producing the information for the first time, the operations manager was planning the closure or amalgamation of loss-making activities.
Within the space of just weeks, the business had turned around from losses into substantial profits – it literally added several hundred thousand pounds to their bottom line almost overnight. This was a perfect illustration of how ‘measurement drives action’.
As a result of this success I was subsequently offered the job as interim chief-executive of that business. Hopefully, that illustrates just how powerful management information can be.
I saw countless examples of the beneficial impact of management information systems in my banking and business consultancy career – often the best businesses were those that had the best management information systems.
Why then have I signally failed to create a meaningful management information system for myself and my business?
For the last 4 years in internet marketing, I have been totally absorbed in learning the skills of internet marketing and ignoring this basic business principle of measurement (or as some say ‘know your numbers’. ) I think I put my knowledge of numbers to one side to learn a totally new skill, ‘forgetting’ the critical importance of numbers to any business.
‘Flying by the seat of my pants’ has to stop right NOW!!
I’m now determined on putting this right and as I do so I am going to create a very, very important product called ‘Measure ‘n’ Manage‘ based on the principle that ‘what you can measure, you can manage‘.
I’m hoping to bring increased insight and clarity to this important topic because I am perhaps uniquely qualified to write on this subject from my previous 35 year experience in the business consultancy field and my knowledge of internet marketing.
My purpose will be to create a simple management system for my own business and to help others to do the same for their own internet marketing business. In doing so, I will clearly identify the key performance indicators and how to measure and monitor them.
One of the problems with internet marketing is that a number of the tools, like Google Analytics, spew out tons of potentially useful information but I find that it is bewildering in the complexity and amount of information that they produce. If I am bewildered, and I like numbers, then goodness knows what others think!
I also think that this will be key to me taking action on my own marketing activities because ‘action without measurement is always sub-optimal’ i.e. if you don’t measure the results of your actions, then how do you know what the best action is to take in future?
Surprisingly, very few internet marketers have produced any training on this important topic – probably because they think that it won’t sell – but in my opinion, without a good management information system you are unlikely to succeed in business.
Also, I don’t think you can delegate this task without at least understanding the information and numbers for your own business and how they are calculated. I have seen that happen and it never works. (I turned one business down for a loan flat within 5 minutes because the business plan they produced was two inches thick with computer print-outs (- needless to say, they were enraged!) I knew there was no way they could properly understand the information they had produced and neither could I – they were trying to blind me with science and chose the wrong person to try it on with. They went to another bank, got the loan and went bust within 6 months!)
If you want to run a business, then you need to know the numbers whether numbers are your thing or not. It is compulsory in my opinion.
Changing the Topic
One of my areas of weakness is email marketing but I have recently completed Marc Milburns’s Email Cash Siphon product. To re-enforce my learning on this topic, I am also planning a product called ‘Email ATM’ – here is the outline of the product:
This product will be produced after ‘Measure ‘n’ Manage’ but before ‘Business Storyboards’, which is my product on online business strategy.
I implemented the ‘Attention Grabber’ plugin on this site this week. It’s a plugin I acquired a long time ago but never took action on. You will see it in the corner of my web pages advertising my latest product – hopefully it is ‘grabbing your attention’ haha!
This brings me on to a brand new plugin that one of my coaching colleagues, Aaron Webster, has just launched which is a page-peal plugin for adverts called One Ring Plugin – it looks extremely powerful and I hope to give it a trial over the next week or so – here is a link to this new product if you want to check it out.
I also lashed out $6 on a new plugin launched this week called G-Font plugin that enables me to enhance the fonts on my websites (I can now choose from 600 fonts!) – pure indulgence but hopefully it will improve the presentation of my products. I am in the information marketing niche after all!
That’s all for this week, but in the meantime please remember ‘MEASUREMENT DRIVES ACTION’!