I started my new venture with a lot of energy and action in order to get to the point where the idea behind the company could be validated—the point at which profit was created. But up to the critical juncture of clocking in profit, there were a lot of little side projects and one-off tasks that were necessary to complete.
Some of these minor-league tasks include:
- buy a website template
- host the website
- choose a domain name
- subscribe to a project management system
- update lawyer about “doing business as” another name
- set up a professional email system
- set up professional phone lines
- set up bank account
- harass lawyer with thousands of legal questions
- get company logo made
- set up every social media profile under the sun
- this, that, and the other thing
The problem is that these minor but necessary tasks can really drag the beginner down because there is so much to do, and so much of this is new. If you’re a perfectionist, it can be doubly hard. The perfectionist will want to make sure that all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, but there’s not enough time and energy for this. If you are a perfectionist and ever wanted to become more action-oriented, a startup will cure you quickly, in my opinion. The quest for validation through profit will require the perfectionist to move quickly but with rough measure to get through all these minor tasks above which must be done before revenue can begin to roll in.
Enter, Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). In my opinion, you should choose 2-4 KPI’s that correspond with driving in revenue. For my company the number one indicator was the number of consumer requests for information. For your firm it will be different. Determine the 2-4 most important metrics related to how you make sales and put these at the top of your mind each day. Minding these metrics will automatically change your team behavior from wasteful to laser-like.
If you’re a new entrepreneur, write down your 2-4 KPI’s on a napkin today and you’ll be on your way to business sustainability.
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