Are you still using paper maps? Most of us are using a GPS or our cell phones with Google Maps or another favorite app.
Either way, what you must have is your starting location or neither will be helpful to you. Think about planning a trip for a moment. We select an airport, or a highway to begin the trip. This means we have a known starting point.
You might be going on a business trip to a city you haven’t been to before and in advance you might look into a few good running routes outdoors nearby to where you are staying – the starting point.
There is always the starting point.
Keep this in mind as to really know where you are going, you first have to – must! – know, where you are now!
Yes, you can get there from here! You just have to know where here is located. This is how it is in any business too.
Consider a company that wants to grow their business or obtain investors. In either case the first question which must be answered is: “Where are you now?” This may sound too simple to matter. Who wouldn’t know this? More people than you think.
The actual where are we right now gets lost in the shuffle.
Large public companies have teams of people working on the future forecast. The quarterly numbers, the next reporting cycle, the board meeting and don’t even ask these folks where are we now. The answer is easier to obtain from the guys on the corner entering Bourbon Street in New Orleans – “Bet I can tell you where you gots them shoes.” Seriously!
In a start up or a smaller company when everyone is fighting a fire and dealing with the next cash flow crisis, the answer to where are we now would usually be – “It depends…”
For the Freelancers who go through networking events nodding and answering the question – “So how are things going?” With a smile and a head nod – “Busy, busy…How about you?” The answer – “Oh yeah, busy, busy..”
One of my mentors – Paul Martinelli – often says, “If you want to know how someone is doing in their business have them bring you their appointment book or calendar and their checkbook register. These will tell you all you need to know.”
So what is the answer genius?
You have to have a system set up so you know your numbers. No one is selling you a system here. Find one or create one. It doesn’t matter. The point is you have to know your numbers.
On a regular basis the numbers will tell the story. These are really the bottom line results. They will tell you where you are and show you where to start on the journey to where you are going. If something isn’t working it has to be changed, fixed or tossed.
Mitch Tublin is the CEO and Founder of Wenkroy International LLC a boutique consulting company with a main focus on Strategic Business Consulting, Training and Business Coaching.