Quick question for you. When you get to work, what is the first thing you do? If it’s to check your email, you’re not alone. The majority of business and organizational leaders look at their inbox before they do anything else, which isn’t always the most productive way to start your day according to Forbes.
I’m here to suggest an alternative if the “don’t check your email first thing” advice isn’t realistic for you.
Instead, make a dashboard of your business – it’s a better way to kick off your day.
Think about it. How can you make time to be an effective leader if you are consumed with your own inbox?
Here are some tips to help you become a more effective leader — one who considers the success of his or her organization over what happens to be piling up in the inbox:
Introduce Key Performance Indicators
If your organization isn’t measuring success based on a handful of key performance indicators (KPI), stop what you are doing and work to define them immediately. I won’t spend time focusing on organizational KPIs, as I’m sure your Board of Directors and executive leadership have this covered.
As you go down a level in your organization, however, things may get a bit murky.
Each department within your organization should govern their teams with a set of KPIs. For example, sales, marketing, operations and the box office should all have a set of KPIs that are known and understood by all members of the team.
These are some sales and marketing KPIs that you may be familiar with:
- Total sales – how much are you selling across all products and all channels?
- Average order value – are you working to improve or present your offerings so event goers are spending more money per order?
- Revenue per attendee – are event goers spending more money over time?
- Total attendance – are your venues filling up?
- Unsold inventory value – what is the overall value of unsold, and now expired, inventory?
- New customers – how many new customers are you bringing in
- Repeat customers – is your organization retaining existing customers?
While other groups, like fundraising, may use a different set of KPIs, identifying the right goals for each department in your organization is critical. Meeting and reviewing these metrics regularly to ensure alignment with your organizational goals is also essential.
Once you have settled on KPIs to measure and track, you must work with your team to introduce the most critical element: forecasting. This will give you the best possible chance to impact the outcome of your initial plan.
Consider this: if your marketing director is forecasting ticket sales revenue and predicts a huge gap compared to your budget, you’ll have time to get proactive and do something about it.
If there is no forecast for ticket sales revenue, then everything just plays out. This is similar to just crossing your fingers.
Alternatively, if your marketing director forecasts a huge increase in ticket sales, you can increase staff to prepare for a bigger audience, reduce discounted group sales inventory or invest in something to help make that event even better.
Forecasting is an art, but it’s one of the most important tools you can give to your organization.
Invest in Technology
While this may sound great, you can’t be chasing down metrics and sales numbers all the time. Instead, find a way to effectively centralize your KPIs so your team can focus on the art of forecasting. Just as you invest in other areas of your business, this is one area you simply cannot afford to ignore.
Before you invest, however, determine what the KPIs are for your organization. Having a clear picture of what you are trying to accomplish as an organization will make an audit of your current technology solutions a much easier and more exciting process.
So the next time you fire up your laptop in the morning or check your phone on the way to work, think about where your time is best spent and how you are going to make that a reality. You’ll be glad that you are focused on the right things for your business.