By Ellen Curnow, Accountant at Hive Business
On average, we check our phones every 12 minutes, so it’s not surprising that people feel the need to compare their own circumstances with others’. But we can’t draw accurate conclusions about our own progress or performance, if the information we’re basing these conclusions on, is not comparable.
You wouldn’t weigh yourself on Monday wearing full bikers’ leathers, then jump back on the scales on Friday in nothing but your socks and conclude that you’ve lost eight kilos in a single working week (well, you might, but it wouldn’t be long before this method caught up with you).
So, my question is; why are you doing exactly that with your business? How can you expect to know your business; where it’s come from, where it’s going, if you can’t see the big trends because you’ve made a mess of the smaller details? Half the battle of measuring your own performance is to record the right information in the right way.
When I analyse a client’s businesses, I am often shocked by the lack of care taken over the front desk software input. There can be totally incomparable information generated by two dentists at the same practice. For example, at face value, the information might show that the Principal works more days, longer hours, has more appointments and yet appears to generate less turnover than an associate counterpart. But it often transpires that the data’s not an accurate representation of what actually happened, and it doesn’t tell the whole story, which makes it nigh on impossible to draw accurate conclusions about where time (and money) is being lost.
For many people, it’s not that they don’t want to know how their business is performing, or that they don’t care, it’s just that they really don’t know what information they need to record to measure the performance of their business, or how they need to record it. Which brings me back to my original point that attempting to measure your own performance based on other peoples’ experience or, based on information that doesn’t tell the whole story, will inevitably fail.
It takes around 66 days to break a habit and replace it with a new one and, as a business owner, keeping accurate and relevant records should be part of your habitual routine because the effect of keeping inaccurate records could be that you are inhibiting the success of your entire business.
Hive is made up of a wide variety of professionals to provide our clients with an accurate measure of the performance of their business, identify how to improve it, and then support them in implementing these changes. But this often begins with identifying the records that are most relevant to the weaknesses within that business.