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How To Guarantee Growth In Your business

A Simple Strategy for Practically Guaranteed Business Growth This Year

My legs were on FIRE, but I had to keep pushing through the pain.

Just one more run, I thought. Then, I’ll call it a day.

I didn’t even necessarily want to keep snowboarding either. I’d been riding all day in knee deep powder while weaving through the trees, and any skier or snowboarder knows how fast that will wear you out.

But, there was one thing fueling my motivation. I had to beat my high score.

No, I wasn’t in a competition. Nobody was sitting there timing me or adding up points.

The truth is much less exciting. I had just downloaded an app for my phone designed to track how many vertical feet I snowboarded each day, and I wanted to beat my existing daily record.

I wasn’t going to win a prize, become famous, or even get a pat on the back.

I was pushing myself simply so I could look at a high score on my iPhone app when I was finished.

This may sound pointless, but that’s why it’s the perfect story to illustrate the power of quantified results.

What Gets Measured Get’s Improved

Let that sink in for a second: What gets measured gets improved.

I’ve noticed this same phenomenon throughout my life and entrepreneurial journey.

When I first started my handyman business, I tracked everything. I tracked how many hours I worked, the sources of my leads, how much I made per hour, and of course my monthly income and expenses.

As a result, I went from charging just $25/hr to averaging $55/hr within the first year, and my rates continued to climb from there.

As time went on, my business became more profitable while I actually scaled back my hours and worked less.

How did I do it?

Basically, I was measuring the right things, and I was doing it consistently.

Since I knew which marketing methods were working, I dropped the duds. Since I knew how much money I was making per hour, I strategized on how to move the needle upward.

Since I could clearly see how much time was wasted by inefficiencies, I experimented with new processes to reduce them.

Some things worked, some didn’t. But, the important thing is that I had the feedback I needed to decide which was which.

Sure, had I not measured these metrics, I still would have grown my business. But, not nearly as fast or as effectively. I wouldn’t have been able to make smart business decisions like when I stopped offering free quotes.

Why Does This Work?

Clear, Concrete Feedback

When you have objective, clear, and concrete feedback that isn’t swayed by your perception, you can make smart decisions. You can cut the fat because you can actually see it.

Motivation

Sometimes trying to beat your previous best score can be that small kick you need to work just one more hour, answer your phone one second faster, or put one more ounce of effort into giving the customer a great experience.

There’s not doubt that I had extra motivation to grow my business when I looked at the numbers, especially since I was sharing those numbers on this blog. I can vividly remember pushing myself every day just so I could put up good numbers at the end of the month.

Inspires Quality Questions

The results you achieve are largely influenced by the quality of your questions. When you are measuring something and trying to improve it, this naturally inspires the question “How can this be improved?”

Even though this seems like an obvious question to ask, it’s surprising how often it’s not. Many people are stuck focusing on how bad their situation is instead of figuring out how to improve it. Or, they are so caught up in the day to day that they never have time to ask good questions.

What Should You Measure?

That depends on what you are trying to improve or achieve.

Maybe your trying to increase your income. Maybe it’s the amount of leads you generate each week. Or, maybe you are just trying to get started in business and want to speed up the process.

Once you know what you’d like to to improve, brainstorm ideas on what you can start measuring that will naturally guide you toward the result you seek.

For example, if I wanted to increase my profit and decrease hours worked, I’d start measuring the time and profit for each individual job so I could calculate my hourly rate.

But, sometimes things aren’t so cut and dry.

Let’s say I was just starting a business while working a full time job and I was struggling to find time to work on my business. In this scenario, I would start tracking how many hours I worked each week, because at this point, that is what will likely influence my results most.

Or, here’s another example.

Let’s say I wanted to improve the relationship with my wife. That’s hard to measure. So, I’d need to look at things that influence the relationship. I could measure how many nice things I say for example. Or, I could start tracking how many times I make her smile. Increasing the number of either of these will likely improve the relationship.

The important thing is that you are measuring the right things, because you won’t get results if what you measure doesn’t align with your goals.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that tracking the right metrics in my business has had a large impact on my success as a handyman.

If it works for me, and pretty much every business you’ve ever heard of, it can work for you, too.

As long as you are measuring the right things and checking in consistently, you’ll have the insights you need to make quality decisions that will lead your to your goals faster.

So…if what you’ve been trying hasn’t worked so far, maybe it’s time to stop making resolutions and start taking measurements.

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  • Amy January 12, 2016

    Dan, I am not a service provider and this blog post still really spoke to me for my work. “What gets measured gets improved” is something I want to really focus on this year. Thanks.

    • Dan Perry January 12, 2016

      Glad you liked it!

  • Al McMillan January 12, 2016

    Hi Dan,
    When you first started these blogs, I took your advice about keeping track of all the hours and expenses and soon found that I had to raise my rates or go broke. I went from $50.00 to $65.00 then $70.00 per hour real quick. My handyman business just turned 5 and I’m doing very well with plenty of satisfied customers.
    I would like to find an app to keep track of these things. Any suggestions?
    Thanks for your blog Dan, I for one really appreciate it.
    Al McMillan
    Good Help Handyman Services

    • Dan Perry January 12, 2016

      That’s Awesome Al! $70/hr is great. Unfortunately, I don’t know of an app for tracking these things, but I’m on the same page as you. I’m planning to look into that and hopefully I’ll find a good app.

  • Allen January 13, 2016

    Hi Dan.
    Thanks for this article and all the great content you produce. You are the place I go to when I need ideas for my business. A quick question about tracking metrics. How do you keep track of them? Do you use a spreadsheet or some program? If so, how often do you input the info and how do you keep track during the day? I find I need to write down info as it happens or I forget. Do you have any ideas for this?
    Thanks.

    • Dan Perry January 13, 2016

      Thanks Allen,
      I track my hours in my calendar (when tracking time) so I get a visual of when I worked as well how much. Most other metrics can be derived from invoices and my P&L report at the end of the month. So, I’ll usually check in with these things on a monthly basis.

      In other cases, like tracking mileage or something like that, I just keep a simple notepad in my truck that I can quickly write down whatever I’m tracking.

      And, if you really want to get serious, you can actually go through the process of writing out a monthly report which I like to do. It forces you to really evaluate everything and you’d be surprised at how many insights you’ll gain.

      • Bruce February 1, 2016

        Hi Dan,

        I spent all day yesterday reading your progress. Impressive. I also have started a Handyman business last month. Thank you so much for the great info. You have saved many mistakes and and pitfalls for the rest of us I’m certain. I’d like to ask what apps, accounting programs, time management and calendars you use or recommend. Thanks again for the wealth of information you have provided for free. Very grateful.

        Bruce

  • Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long
    as I provide credit and sources back to your site?

    My blog site is in the exact same niche as yours aand my
    visitors would really benefit from a lot of the informaton you present here.
    Pleasse let me know if this okay with you. Cheers!

    • Dan Perry April 24, 2016

      I’d be happy if you sent people to my website – but copy and pasting my content on your website is NOT ok.

  • Niall Maher April 30, 2016

    Ur words ar pure eye opening

    • Ahmed June 29, 2016

      Dankie Man.

      You said you’ll be sending newsletters each week. !
      Its 2 weeks tomorrow already 😉

      Be blessed.

  • First Food Machinery July 20, 2016

    Hi Dan, My handyman business is really taking off tanks to your tips and advice . I’m doing very well with plenty of satisfied customers.
    Good Help Handyman Startup,
    Jeff

    • Dan Perry July 21, 2016

      Glad to hear it Jeff! Thanks for sharing this.

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