Have you ever pushed yourself to your physical and mental limits at work but still get nothing done? Running a business can often feel like running on a hamster wheel if you’re not paying close attention to your productivity metrics. After all, going to bed tired isn’t the real payoff—growing your business is. Explore the best ways to measure your productivity and meet or exceed your goals as a service provider.
Why Productivity is Important to Your Business
Productivity isn’t just a sign you’re getting things done, it’s a sign that everyone on your team (clients included) are on the same page. You want to ensure everyone has their sights set on the same finish line. That’s why tracking and measurement is important.
Are you really being as productive as you think you are? If your clients or teammates are focused on other tasks or prioritizing different areas of business, the answer is an automatic “no.”
United forward momentum yields the greatest results. Whether you’re a content manager or an ops director, measurable productivity will ensure your most important goals are met and your business continues to grow at a steady, desirable pace.
What Are Productivity Metrics?
Productivity metrics look different for everyone and every business. Social media managers have a targeted focus on engagement across specific platforms. Virtual assistants pay close attention to how many emails they answer or how many admin tasks they complete in a day.
More productivity metrics include:
- Order processing rates
- Inquiry response times
- Overtime hours
- Sales progress
Any quantifiable action (and the subsequent result) is a helpful metric for tracking productivity. The productivity metrics you follow depend entirely on your business and unique goals.
Which Productivity Metrics Should You Follow to Improve Your Business?
If you’re sold on the concept of measuring your productivity but aren’t sure where to start, you’re in the right place. Here are some ideas for tracking productivity in your business.
Completed Tasks and Projects
Break this down in a way that makes the most sense for your particular niche. No matter what sort of service you provide to clients, there are tasks that need to be completed each day.
The math is simple: the more quality tasks you complete in a window of time (day, week, or month), the more productive your business. And it’s easy to set goals around this productivity metric! If your team averages two detailed funnel plans per week, simply aim to achieve three per week in the next quarter.
Number of Sales Closed or New Clients Signed
It’s all about selling whatever you feature on your sales menu. A VA may strive to attain three part-time clients at once, while a digital marketer aims to sell ten subscriptions to their virtual class every month.
Identify what optimal productivity looks like for you or your team and try to maintain that balance. It’s also important to realize when too much business tips the scale on service quality. You never want to sacrifice your reputation by taking on too many clients (or promising too many products or service orders to your clients) and making silly mistakes because you’re forced to work quickly.
Amount of Revenue Generated
As a business owner, you’re likely tracking your earnings anyway. But consider how those dollar signs work with other productivity metrics. Revenue can be helpful, but not necessarily straightforward—depending on your pay structure and business type.
For example, you can have an outstanding month, earning double your average revenue, investing a normal amount of energy. Or, you can have a poor month, earning less than your average revenue, exerting oodles of extra energy.
The amount of money you bring in may depend on more than just your productivity… so be careful using this metric! You have to factor in special pricing, market surges, and other fluctuations.
The amount of time and energy you exert on a single campaign is only worthwhile if you achieve the desired outcome. Your campaign ROI is among the most important productivity metrics because it shows if you’re spending your time on the right things.
There’s always the chance you need to shift your focus towards another target to improve your productivity. Don’t be afraid to throw in the towel on a campaign launch that’s not dishing out the way you’d hoped.
Number of Hours Worked in a Stretch
If you aren’t already keeping track of the time you invest in your business, start now. You may find it helpful to log the hours and minutes you work every day, week, or month. Just keep it consistent! Notice the correlation between hours worked and revenue, goals met, and overall well-being.
Getting into the granular level on this is helpful, too. What are you actually spending the most time on? If you tap into your productivity metrics and notice the places you’re spending your time aren’t the same places you’re earning your money, it’s time to adjust. Lean into the most lucrative tasks! Yep – the ones that REALLY move the needle.
As a business owner, you need some sort of checklist. Don’t just keep tasks floating around in your brain: create a to-do list and indicate when things actually get done. Not only is it incredibly satisfying to check things off your list (physically or virtually), it’s a crucial way to measure your productivity.
Observe which activities are easily finished versus those that are often left untouched. Do your task lists often look the same from day to day?
Of course, allow for variation! But your planned-to-done ratio across similar days will tell you how productive you’ve been. Once you start keeping track of your checkmarks, you may draw motivation to finish more each day.
Use productivity metrics to ensure you’re spending your energy in the right areas of your business. No two businesses are exactly the same—even if they have the same niche. The only way to be sure you’re optimizing your productivity is to check your data.