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Metric Management Uncovers Success

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Author - Steve Wilcox - Sept 2020

Though the last few months have been a wild ride for us all, especially small businesses, The Resultants have continued working alongside our owners and leadership teams to forge ahead. We were unsure of what to expect but we knew we couldn’t stand by and let the Covid-19 crisis take advantage of all the hard work our clients have put in. We are happy to report on the following second quarter findings from a few of our active clients, who are diligent about tracking their company’s metrics:

Back on Track

  • Back on track to reach annual plan goals (after a touchy March-April) ending with a huge June sales recovery.
  • Since the emergency contingency planning session, shaved off some fat, resulting in a larger than projected bottom line over an aggressive top line plan

Hitting Targets

  • Hit their quarterly target with higher than projected revenue in the pipeline
  • At or exceeding stretch goals set at the annual meetings 6 months ago (pre-Covid)
  • Pipeline reports increased revenue with a 20% net (best ever). Never in 15-year history has this company had a bigger monthly revenue sold-but-not-shipped metric.

Ahead of Plan

  • $600K ahead of plan with a robust bottom line
  • 25% ahead of plan in an industry that had been deemed non-essential, causing a quick response to furlough most of the workforce, only to be re-assigned back to essential
  • 3 salespeople nearly reached their stretch goals, meaning each will likely significantly surpass their goals by year end
  • Setting new “bests” within their measurables

So how can metrics like these happen during one of the most challenging disruptions for small business?  This is a question we have asked ourselves again and again (and are still analyzing!) Of course, there are many factors that contributed, but when looking through all of the successes combined, we uncovered a few key trends.

Follow Your Why

Simon Sinek is known for his emphasis on our WHY or our purpose. Your WHY is the foundation to restarting businesses impacted by the pandemic recession and key to recovering. It is your starting point. It took tremendous risk for owners to start their company. Sinek calls this an owner’s origin story. The origin is always based on a purpose… something higher than the owner and usually includes some very important values.

People (employees and stakeholders) have the opportunity to live within that WHY.  In his book, Built to Last, Jim Collins researched long-lasting and sustainable businesses. Collins stated, “Great organizations make a clear distinction between what they stand for (which should never change) and how they do things (which should never stop changing)”. Companies today should be constantly innovating their products and business practices. They should continuously ask how they can serve customers best through their WHY and their core values.

Operating System is Key

Although there are some industries that fared well during the beginnings of Covid-19, this did not necessarily immunize all businesses from the challenges faced. An example is the construction industry. Construction continues to be strong due to low interest rates and low inventory. We have witnessed some construction-related companies who are struggling or have closed. We believe this is because their internal operating system could not keep up with the massive changes that bombarded business. Regardless of industry, companies with a weak infrastructure and little cash have been hit the hardest.

Be Prepared for Change

A switch in strategy, including some short-term contingency planning, was needed for a few clients. But, we realized it goes farther than simply changing a plan… it also takes a prepared organization. How did some companies pivot within a short time frame while others couldn’t? They had been preparing for Covid-19 (or any crisis) before it happened without even knowing it. They had already started their digital transformation. Online strategies were established, technologies and equipment was regularly upgraded and they honed in their processes which allowed them to keep a strong presence.

That is why one company was able to create a brand new product line, resulting in record setting sales for the company. Now this company is ready to release four new products by simply changing their mindset.

Commit to Your People

Staying disciplined and committed to taking care of employees is another trend we saw with all of our clients. An on-time delivery-based business with a 280-employee plant needed to buckle down with Covid-19 management in order to stay afloat. This success story occurred in a city that has been pummeled with Covid-19 cases. It was all about being disciplined with their people strategies and keeping their workforce safe, healthy and engaged, all while maintaining the same delivery schedule. They did this by adding and refining internal processes and procedures, increasing communication, and executing through clearly-defined roles and team metrics. Their greatest message was: “we care”, not “we must improve production metrics”.

“Great leaders are willing to sacrifice the numbers to save the people. Poor leaders sacrifice the people to save the numbers” – Simon Sinek

Be Diligent to Your Metrics

Metrics are a way to gauge the success of an organization. It’s a wonderful feeling when your company shows improvement, no matter how incremental it might be. Metrics are important benchmarks that help businesses stay focused and on track. However, there is a lot more going on under the surface that is needed to execute success.  With the pandemic and recession, we are faced with so many more challenges. Learning from recent experiences and recent observations, remember the trends: Know your WHY or purpose and use it to make the best decisions on behalf of your customers, strengthen your business infrastructure, you can switch plans quickly when the company is prepared, and commit to supporting and serving your employees.

Author, Steve Wilcox, is President and Senior Business Advisor with The Resultants. To learn more about Steve, visit our Team Page or connect with him on Linkedin.


Rebuilding Your Roadmap to Success

2020 isn’t over just yet but you should be starting to think about how you can reset and rebuild in 2021. There are many factors to take into consideration when setting your long-term goal especially after a year of disruption. Enter the Value Builder System, a methodology consisting of eight key levers of company value you can push and pull to significantly increase the value of your company.

Find out where your company sits by taking the Value Builder Questionnaire.

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