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Posted: 2006-06-27 / Author: Rodney Boettger

Small Business Performance Management: Management Through Measurement

Small Business Performance Management: In 1996, in the movie Jerry McGuire, actor Cuba Gooding, Jr.
made famous the phrase "Show Me the Money!" Ten years later, a
variation of that command, now "Show Me the Data!" rings in
conference rooms throughout the country. Managers far and wide,
at least the successful ones, are looking at the data. Don't
tell me your opinion, show me the data. Can you back it up with
If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. Companies may be
able to survive for a while if managers aren't using data to
make decisions, but they will eventually see their demise;
likely sooner than later. Those companies to benchmark off are
the ones who are not only surviving, but thriving! Pick your
favorite phrase: TQM, Process Management, Quality Circles,
Improvement Teams, Standards and Measurement departments or any
other title you prefer. The function is the same. Look at
baseline data - percentages, dollars, hours, quantities - and
continuously monitor the performance.
There should not be any task that a supervisor or staff members
perform that cannot be measured. If you can't measure it, you
can't manage it. Take a fast food restaurant for example. There
are a plethora of areas that can be measured such as days
without an accident, customer wait time in line, length of time
burgers are in the warmer, amount of money off in the drawers,
customer complaints, etc. Graph it out and keep a spread sheet
of your figures. Clearly you're looking for improvement. If
there was a decline, brainstorm, find the root cause and then
fix the problem.
The process is the same no matter what industry you're
managing. Whether you manufacture widgets, if you are the CEO
of an internet marketing firm or if you sell cookies, take a
look at all the steps involved in day to day operations. Assign
values to the process. Set goals. Review the results on a daily,
weekly or monthly basis. Remember, if you can't measure it, you
can't mange it. Charts and graphs are an excellent tool to
visually remind you of where you have been and where you plan
to go.
In the midst of measuring your subordinates' performance, don't
neglect to measure and manage your own operations. Don't think
for a minute that your boss isn't looking at your performance.
And if you're the top dog, you had better be managing yourself
well, or you will never succeed at managing others.

About The Author: Mr. Boettger's consulting firm helps business
market effectively without spending more money on advertising
through a growth performance guaranteed system. An extensive
DIY small business action plan is available free on their
website at

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