In horror movies, there is a great deal of enjoyment to be had from the sense of suspense, drama, and tension that is built by the unknown. Whether it is the unknown whereabouts of the crazy stalker, the unknown nature of the aliens floating above the White House, or the unknown cause of the reanimated corpses, the theme of a lack of knowledge persists across the genre. Operating without sufficient intel, the characters make poor decisions, making their situation worse and worse, until the climatic scene wherein the characters' ignorance culminates in their demise, or is disbanded by a moment of clarity and they triumph over the antagonist.
The triumphs, though, are often hard-fought and at great expense. How often are the audience of the movie yelling at the screen "no, don't go into the old abandoned building!" because they have information the characters lack, trying to save them from undo hardship? The plot of the movies would not be much interest if the main characters were all omniscient, and could avoid all peril with no effort, but there is a lot to be said for having the conflicts be a battle of the intelligent, rather than the incompetent.
Business is not so different from the classic horror movies. Without outlining the analogy in depth, it is sufficient to say that the unknowns in business are the source of suspense, tension, and ultimately, stress. Is a particularly expensive marketing strategy paying off? Is your staff meeting their obligations, and exceeding your expectations? How are your business financials? Often, the information is available - as it is to an observant horror film protagonist - but is not easily accessible, or is overlooked because of the hustle-and-bustle of day to day operations. Your business' KPIs (key performance indicators) are the audience, having insights and seeing things that you can't, screaming at the screen to try to guide you, but not being heard.
Taking a lesson from the horror movies, then, it is time to take a step back and listen to the audience. The KPIs of your business need to be made accessible, ensuring accuracy and relevance, so that you can dispel many of the unknowns. Starting KPIs should include month- and year-to-date financials, conversion rates for each step of the sales funnel, staff performance, and client statuses as they progress though your post-sales process. Without those as a minimum, just as the creepy, abandoned building at the end of the street doesn't raise big red flags, you too will miss red flags in your business, adding the stress of the unknown. And of course, if you don't know where to find your KPIs or how to set up a KPI dashboard, BMI is there to help.
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