Are You Keeping Score or Just Practicing?

March Madness, at least in my household, has always been the first real holiday season of the year. But it’s also a striking reminder that the first quarter of the year is already ending. Often January begins with a boom of energy in which business leaders generate an expansive list of goals and strategies to conquer the year. The end of the first quarter is essentially the first real chance to see how one is doing at meeting those ambitions. One thing that has always surprised me about business owners is how little they keep score in their business. It’s almost as if the star player of your favorite college basketball team nonchalantly walked back to the huddle with 3 seconds left in the game down by 2. You’d watch the TV with scorn wondering what the heck is wrong with that player. So why would you do that in your business?

Start with a Scoreboard

What are your supporting numbers/stats that indicate high levels of team performance?  In basketball, we have assists, rebounds, points, shooting percentages, and steals as the positive KPIs.  On the negative side we have turnovers and fouls and shooting percentages (sometimes positive, sometimes negative).  If you have a dashboard (scoreboard) for your business, now is a great time to look at the numbers at the high level, and one level down to see how your team/business is performing. 

You may want to have a few different types of scoreboards, such as a financial, sales, production, and employee scoreboards.

Update and Review the Scoreboard Regularly

One way to incorporate this in your business is weekly huddles with your team. I used to manage a successful personal training studio. I created a group text to communicate with my team, and I’d often have quick chats throughout the week with my staff. I’d lazily request that my team input pertinent information into our CRM, but I was often too busy (or lazy) to religiously check it. When my coach learned that we had no weekly huddles or tracking of goals versus reality I think he realized quickly that he could pay for his services. That’s how effective this can be for your business!

We started having weekly “WIG” meetings. WIG stood for “Wildly Important Goals.” The process for these meetings were short and simple. We discussed each team members commitment from last week, and the reality of what happened. We then reviewed our collective scoreboard. Let’s say the goal is to get 10 prospective client meetings a week, or 40 a month. How are we doing? Where do we need to focus for the next week? Are we on target? Off target? Are we consistently not meeting our goals? Is our goal too low? The last part of the meeting was all about the next week. What are your goals for this week? Team members were trained to be very specific here. We had a spoken rule that the language mattered. One could not say “I want to focus on” or “work on.” What are you specifically going to do? If the wildly important goal is to increase prospects for personal training by having introductory meetings, and your goal is to ensure the bathrooms are clean by checking them 4 times daily, you’d have to give me a very logical reason why this would help us reach our team goal.

This little exercise immediately increased our sales & lowered our employee turnover. Employees felt like they were apart of a well-run organization with camaraderie. We set our goal in January, and we had real world weekly scorekeeping to ensure that we were meeting our goals. If you’re in the control of a business, you should always know what the score is in on the scoreboard. It’s also interesting how resistant individuals are to implementing this idea. I started consulting with a local gym around this time, and the owner was very resistant to this idea because “it won’t work here.” When I questioned her as to why it wouldn’t she responded that “well I only have one employee.” I’m assuming that she didn’t have goals for that team member or her organization! When I said that – she came around. WIG meetings are even important for a business of one employee – the owner itself! If you’re not keeping score, you’re not playing in the game of business.

If you don’t have a Scoreboard or you have one and don’t really know how to utilize it, or you just need a fresh take on your business, schedule a free strategy session with one of our coaches who will help you decipher your Scoreboard and identify where you can do some freshening up. 

Author: Logan Cockerham

Are You Keeping Score or Just Practicing?