I’ve coached my son’s youth lacrosse team for several years.

The vast amount of time is spent practicing and creating a game plan. This last year we practiced Monday and Friday nights, then the team had a 1hr game on Saturday. It was probably a 6:1 ratio of practicing to actual game play. Clearly planning is important, but so is keeping track of the score.

Knowing The Score Is Critical 

Knowing the score during the game was also very important.

There were times when I would move players around at critical points in the game so we had a better chance of winning. I would reallocate resources to where they would have the greatest effect.

This got me thinking about one of the roadblocks that keep small business owners from realizing their vision (read winning) – not keeping score.

If you’re a business that is advanced enough to create a plan for success (game plan), what are you doing to keep score on game day? How are you keeping score this week, this month, this quarter? What are your KPIs and how are you tracking those KPIs?

On the lacrosse field our success metrics were goals and having fun (not sure how well I did at the having fun part, but I tried).

I am always surprised at the number of businesses that haven’t nailed down their KPIs (key performance indicators). They are literally not keeping score.

Because they are not keeping score they have no way of knowing how close they are to realizing their vision.

Questions like, “How are we tracking to the budget?”, “Have we hit our sales goals for the month” or “How happy are our customers?” are not being asked or answered.

So here are a few steps you can take to begin keeping score today:

Define Your Top 3-5 Company Goals

Given your vision, what are the 3-5 things that MUST happen over the next 12 months for you to win?

Assign Someone Who Is Accountable For Each Company Goal

Who is ultimately accountable for each goal? On the lacrosse field, there are different positions with different responsibilities. 

It’s critical to have one person on your team who is ultimately responsible for each company goal. In fact, the best teams hold themselves accountable.

Assign At Least One KPI To Each Company Goal

Knowing how you will measure success allows you to know when you’ve “won”.

Imagine if at the end of a game no one knew the score OR if one team gave 5 pts to a field goal and the other team gave 2 pts.

Knowing how you are keeping score keeps everyone motivated and focused on winning.

Establish The Discipline Of Checking In And Reviewing The “Score”.

You need to take time to review the score so you can make adjustments in your strategy. This increases your chances of winning. You want to win right?

How many NFL games have you watched where the losing team came back from a deficit after half-time? Clearly, the winning team made adjustments and those adjustments helped them to win.

In professional sports, the team owners and managers measure everything and everyone. Each player’s individual stats are tabulated and available for everyone to see. Great coaches know that success is tied to clear vision articulation (winning the Super Bowl), setting goals (winning each game), keeping score along the way and making adjustments as necessary.

Need help keeping score?

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