I recently completed and delivered my first presentation in some time. I mentioned it in my last post. The title was “To Do What You’ve Never Done” half of an often-used saying you’ve probably heard before.
To do what you’ve never done… You will have to go where you’ve never gone…
The content was focused on just a few of the many things you will have to do in order to achieve success. In order to go where you’ve never gone and do what you’ve never done. Things most people aren’t willing to do.
One of the central elements of this presentation included some of the critical Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) necessary to help monitor where you are on your journey. KPIs are the essential metrics that exist in every business to help you monitor where you are, where you’ve been, and whether or not you’re on the right track moving forward. They are a critical management tool. Perhaps, the most critical tool in any business owner’s journey toward success.
In the automotive service business, they are fairly well established. Numbers like Car Count—the number of vehicles that move through the shop during any fixed period of time. Like cars per hour, day, month, or year. Or ratios that lead to other Key Performance Indicators like Average Invoice, the average revenue associated with each vehicle worked on.
There are countless possible KPIs. More than fifty! But for this particular presentation, I focused on my favorite twelve, plus one. A baker’s dozen. Total Sales—1. Gross Profit—2. Gross Profit on Parts and on Labor—3 & 4. Car Count—5. Average Invoice—6. Labor Mix—7. Labor Content per Job—8. Technician Efficiency—9. Service Bay Productivity—10. Sales per Bay—11. Sales per Tech—12. And a bonus KPI—Effective Labor Rate.
the Obscurity of the Obvious
Most of the time, KPIs are obvious after they’ve been identified and explained but remain a mystery until they are. I know. I was one of those shop owners who didn’t know what he didn’t know until someone took the time to share what had been there all the time. The numbers you need to know in order to get from where you are to where you need to be.
If you’re a shop owner and you have questions about metrics like these. Email me at (firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com) and I promise I’ll do my best to answer any question you might have.
But honestly, that isn’t the purpose of this blog post. The purpose of this blog post is to deal with another set of critical metrics in business. Something that is rarely acknowledged or addressed.
I call them Life Metrics and they are every bit as critical to personal and professional success as any other Key Performance Indicator you can identify regardless of your interest or industry. More critical, really. Because, while monitoring KPIs are certain to help you manage your business. They just as certainly ignore the critical aspects of your life away from that business.
What are these Life Metrics? Quite honestly, I don’t know.
No… Really. I don’t! But I am earnestly trying to figure them out even as I write this.
Over time, I’ve come to understand that if you ask better questions. The right questions. You will get better answers. And to a large degree, that’s what this is all about. Better questions. Questions that just might help establish a set of critical metrics for life and living.
It’s easy to figure out how much time you spend at work. You know when you get there. When you leave. And how long it takes to get there and return home. You could make the argument that the time remaining excluding a shower and sleep is quality time spent with family and friends. But is it?
Not if a chunk of that time is spent on homework. On the completion of all the tasks that were pushed aside during the chaos of another day that quickly slipped out of control. Not if it took precious time away from family, friends, or yourself. Time that is unrecoverable.
So, perhaps one of those Life Metrics should be Uninterrupted Time Spent with your Significant Other—your partner, wife, or husband. Perhaps, another should be Uninterrupted Time Spent with your Kids, if you have kids. Quality time.
I think there should be a metric for Meaningful Conversation. A host of Meaningful Conversation metrics. One for every significant relationship. And none of this makes any sense if you don’t care about yourself.
Consequently, there should be a metric for mindfulness and another for meditation. Time to look inward as well as time to focus on the beauty that exists all around you. They are not the same and shouldn’t be treated as if they are.
And, of course, there has to be a series of metrics for fitness. Whether alone or in the company of others, you should be willing to create a Life Metric for the time you could be stretching. Or working out with weights. Running. Swimming. Cycling. Or anything else gives you peace, makes you smile, and helps keep you fit!
Each one of these Life Metrics is every bit as critical for personal success—Perhaps, even more—than any of the KPIs associated with your professional success! After all, what’s the point of working to ensure your business is successful at the expense of the relationships you share with your family. Your health. Or anything else that matters in your life?
How much time does each of these Life Metrics warrant? How many minutes should be devoted to each? I don’t have a clue! At least, not yet… But I’m working on it.
All I’m suggesting is that we take the time and make the effort to get started.