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Running Your Company By The Numbers

Author: Steve Wilcox - May 2015

Can Your Business Run Without You?

Several years back I met Joe, the owner of a medium sized plumbing supply and service company in our area. Each winter he would migrate to a warmer climate to relax and reflect. This gentleman enjoyed golf and had a routine visit to the golf course every morning. But before he proceeded to the first tee, Joe’s ritual included a call to his office to engage his operations manager in a reflection of the preceding day.

“So Bob, give me the numbers,” Joe would say. Bob would proceed to relay the 4 key numbers that made this company tick.

Over the years, Joe built his company, stabilized his leadership team, and became comfortable with running the business and communicating by the numbers. A simple daily scorecard was established, complete with a range of expectation associated with each number. Everyone in the organization knew what each number meant, and what the range of acceptability was for each metric.

Like all good leaders, Joe celebrated the wins and zeroed in on those numbers that fell out of range. The beauty of this system was that Bob already anticipated and expected Joe’s questions, and when a number fell out of range Bob, along with the leadership team, focused the organization toward a remedy. With all successful organizations, it is not about just measuring what went wrong, it’s about taking the next step… analyzing and predicting trends, and determining how and when to adjust coarse.

Building organizations that can be distilled down to a handful of key numbers and a range of acceptability, and communicating by the numbers allows everyone in your organization to take ownership. It allows the owner to build a business that does not rely on just one individual at the top.

What do you think?  What are some of the challenges you’ve faced with building an organization that communicates “by the numbers”?



President of Resultants For Business, Steve Wilcox, is an entrepreneurial owner, Business Advisor and EOS Implementer. Connect with Steve and other RFB® Business Development Advisors here, or on LinkedIn.


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