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[tsg] 3 – What’s the most important indicator of a successful business?


Tom Ehrenfeld’s answer

John Jantsch – That’s such a tough one for me because I’m not
a number guy. Sell enough each day and the rest takes care of itself. I
know that’s crazy but I also know from working with small business
owners that the real indicator that matters most is usually buried
deeply in the culture of the business. The money numbers make more
sense and provide tangible evidence, but I think the magic is in tracking
intangibles, like customer referrals generated, innovation from within,
compliments.

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  • http://www.startupgarden.com Tom Ehrenfeld

    I agree. The key here is to quantify the intangibles, if such a thing is possible. Post the complaints or compliments in a place where employees can see them. Count on how many you get. Track numbers that give a real sense of your company’s health. And this is critical: track numbers that people can actually affect! If the numbers feel random or beyond individual’s “line of sight” then they may have the opposite effect of what you are trying to accomplish.

  • http://zane.typepad.com/ccuceo Zane Safrit

    This is a great question. And Tom’s answer is excellent. A successful business, a long-term success anyway, is one that can balance the entrepreneur’s crazed mission with the need to pay the bills every month.

    With limited space, we need to generalize here. Most entrepreneurs are passionate about their product, their service or the people. They’re on a mission. And this area of reporting and tracking is typically an area they commonly are weak or disinterested.

    Companies are successful when the driver is the quality of the product/service experience. It’s first for their staff, then their customers. You can’t have a quality service if you treat your staff as 2nd class.

    What happens is that organizations lose track of what’s important. The numbers begin to rule and the passion dies. Rules, bureacracy, departments, policies all become more important than…the staff’s excitement and the Customers satisfaction.

    Those companies that can make it through each phase are the great ones, ala Jim Collins.

  • http://NOONSHINE.COM WILLIAM NOON

    I ONCE WORKED FOR A MAN WHO CAME UP TO ME EVERYDAY AND ASKED ME HOW I WAS. HE LISTENED TO MY EVERY COMPLAINT AND NEVER CORRECTED ME. WHEN I STARTED MY BUSINESS I DECIDED MY EMPLOYEES WERE MY MOST INPORTANT ASSET. IF MY EMPLOYEES ARE HAPPY AND KNOW THAT I CARE FOR THEM AND THERE FAMILIES THEY HAVE A TENDENCY TO MAKE MY CUSTOMERS HAPPY AND THEY REFER US TO OTHERS. I KNOW THIS IS AGAINST ALL CORPORATE POLICIES, THEY WANT US TO BELIEVE THAT THE CUSTOMER IS WHAT WE NEED TO PLEASE. DON,T GET STUCK IN THE FLY TRAP. HAPPY EMPLOYEES MAKE HAPPY CUSTOMERS.