Chairman’s Message: A Practical Approach to Assessing Business Productivity

Quincy Virgilio: MLSListings Inc 2018 Chairman

Karl Lee
2019 Chairman, MLSListings

Taking stock at this time of year for the events and milestones that happened in 2018? While you’re at it, take time to evaluate your productivity and business outcomes. It’s an exercise we all should do at the end of a calendar year as part of running a business. It’s impossible to know the true value of our marketing efforts and the energy we expend to develop and successfully close business if we don’t examine actual tactics and hard numbers.

In order to create such a report, the focus must be on understanding where your business is coming from. Only then can you redirect or drive your marketing and customer relationship management efforts in a direction that actually improves your business from one year to the next.

  1. Start by looking at your annual sales number. It’s important to break this out by transaction so that you can evaluate each closed piece of business, or revenue line item, on its own.
  2. Go through each revenue-producing transaction and identify the source of business. Was this a referral? If so, from whom or where? Was this business from an existing client relationship? Was it repeat business from this client or a first-time transaction from someone you’ve been cultivating? Was this business from marketing and advertising, or social media efforts?
  3. Create a chart/graph of your business sources (and the revenues). This will enable you to see what percentage of your business comes from each source. Categories may include “marketing,” “referral,” “cold call” and other things you do to generate business.
  4. Calculate your spend on marketing (advertising, direct mail, etc.) and evaluate against your revenue from these sources. It’s important to break this down even further to see what marketing activities are providing a return on your investment. For those where the return is minimal or non-existent, redirect those funds to those sources that are yielding results.
  5. For other revenue sources, such as referrals, evaluate each on its own merits. How are you getting these referrals? What can you do to stimulate more referrals? How can you boost your referral relationships and maintain contact with your best referral sources?
  6. Create a separate chart that tracks the timing of your revenue or income. Are there trends on when you are getting and closing business? Is there a seasonal trend? How much of your business is closing consistently? Is there something you can do to gain more consistent income flow?

Getting a strong, detailed, visual look at your year in this way will give you an appreciation for what you’ve accomplished and fuel your energy and enthusiasm for goal setting. Use this information to build a strategic business plan for 2019 and spell out specific goals in each of your revenue source areas. Each quarter, go through the above exercise to track where your business is coming from and where you are in revenues to date so that you can make any necessary adjustments. This time next year, you will no doubt find that your business grew and you will have developed more solid business development habits.




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