Gresham Ard
Gresham Ard

Do you remember the board game Mouse Trap? The thrill of that game for me was being able to set off an elaborate chain of events that all began with turning a wheel. This first activity of turning a wheel caused a swinging shoe to kick over a bucket with a ball in it, the ball would roll down a set of stairs and snake its way through a channel until it hit a pole. The impacted pole would cause yet another ball to fall down on a lever, launching a figure of a man into the air and landing in a bowl, which would bring down a cage, ultimately trapping one of the players. Beyond the visual thrill of this elaborate domino effect there is a valuable lesson: Results, in this case the “trap,” are the last link in a series of activities. How does this translate to business?

Have you ever looked at your monthly profit and loss statement and felt the “trap” slam down around you and wonder what happened? The problem usually happens when you’re too focused on the results and fail to recognize all the activities that are leading up to those results. In the Mouse Trap board game, if there was a way to stop any of the actions put in motion, the result would be different and you would escape with the cheese. In business the same is true. That’s why it’s important to take the time to identify, measure, and address.

• Identify the activities that lead up to results.

• Put measurements in place to track those activities.

• Proactively address the underperforming areas.

What are some of these activities in your business that you can track and affect?

• Daily booked calls

• Technician conversion rate

• Leads generated

• Average ticket

• Service partner sales

• Customer satisfaction

All of these activities can be measured and improved. Revenue is also an area to track, but revenue is primarily a result of all these other activities either happening or not happening. For example, how do you expect to make revenue goals if your shop requires 20 calls per day and you’re only running 12? What if you’re getting the 20 calls, but only half of those calls are converting to a sale? Let’s say all those are in check, but what happens when your average ticket is below budget?

There’s no secret in the fact that consistent activities, over time, lead to predictable results. If you’re not happy with your results, then reflect on how well you’re tracking the activities leading to those results. What gets measured gets results. Better yet, what gets measured and corrected has the power to change the results. Don’t get trapped this year! Start to identify, measure, track, and address the important wheels, balls, and levers in your company. You’ll not only avoid the trap, but have all the cheese you want.