Which “magic number” tells you the most about how you’re really doing?

In a classic Inc. Magazine column, The Magic Number: Every Business Has a Magic Number—By Employing His, Our Columnist Didn’t Overstaff This Year, serial entrepreneur and business coach Norm Brodsky explains why the very best numbers to watch are unique to each company—and they aren’t the standard metrics like total sales or number of units sold.

Make it easy to watch your key metric

  • If you’ve already identified your key number(s), let us set up your accounting/ERP system to pop them up for you to see daily or in real time, in whatever format is most useful to you. The numbers become even more valuable as you consistently monitor them over time and refine your sense of what they mean to your business.

  • If you haven’t identified your key number(s), we’ll set up a simple dashboard that starts with your best current instinct of what numbers to track. Over time, it will be quick to add and delete items to refine your dashboard as your insight deepens.

Get your business system to automatically display your company’s magic number daily, whatever it is, to inform your day-to-day decision making and help you respond to changes early. Even better, have your system display the key numbers in a way that all team members see them daily or weekly, so that everyone has a shared understanding of the health of your business and can work together to drive improvements to the numbers.