Lean Canvas—How Will You Measure Success (Metrics)?

Metrics. Even the word can be unnerving. Visions of Six Sigma, Excel spreadsheets and pivot tables.

Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

And yet, if we don’t measure how we’re doing, how will we know? I mean really know. Whether for fun or profit (or both), it’s helpful to know the score. Picture this: you fly to New York, spend a small fortune to buy tickets to the Seahawks vs. Broncos game, take a cab to the stadium and walk in 10 minutes after kickoff. You buy a beer and a hot dog, find your seats, and sit down. You turn to the guy who’s sitting next to you.

You: “Who’s winning?”
The Guy: “No one. They’re just having fun!”
You: “Why am I here?”

It sounds silly, but we do this sort of thing all the time in business. Sometimes it’s because getting the numbers is hard, but more often it’s because we don’t like the hassle, or we don’t want to see what’s really going on. Sometimes numbers can be scary.

To minimize that fear, Maurya suggests that we need to understand and measure at least a couple of things. The first is to figure out the key customer action that drives value. If you’re thinking about your employment business, you might decide that the key action is weekly participation in your group coaching program. Or attendance at your “Get Hired Now” seminar.

The second thing you need to measure is what Maurya calls your Success Metric: what would you need to achieve to make this target worthwhile? A revenue target? A profit target?

For your employment business, you might say that your success is $100,000 in annual revenue. Or you might say that it is a 90% success rate for people participating in your program. You get to decide what makes it worth it.

That being said, you should decide what makes it worth it. What does success look like in your business and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?