OK, I like to consider myself a pretty savvy Internet and computer dude.
You know, I understand how websites work, I played Nintendo like a Super Mario crazed fan growing up.
And don't get me started about Mario Kart ... I can battle with the best of them.
I even spent nine years in the software industry. I know how to write SQL ... Structured Query Language and other crazy stuff.
But when I picked up our family iPad at home the other day I admit I was clueless.
There was this big notification staring at me in the face that read:
"There's a Hot Guy waiting for you in the Club"
I must have mumbled it out loud because my daughter ran by and grabbed it out of my hands while she blurted out,
"Oh, that's for me dad."
She's six ... going on twenty-seven.
I stood there in silence for a moment.
It takes a lot to catch me off guard, and that did.
Apparently there's an "App" for girls where they meet boys in the club or something.
I'll reserve comment except to say that the app isn't on our iPad any more.
Call me old-school with some things ... but she's six.
It did make me laugh though.
Anyway, to the point...
Over the years we've learned that as soon as we take our eye off of something it begins to slip.
Our knowledge about it becomes less intimate.
We like to *think* we know what's going on but we don't really have a good handle on things.
If we're not careful about monitoring our numbers on our properties, our marketing expenses, our eating habits, our exercise frequency ... it all begins to slip.
To combat this we've also learned the only way to stay on top of things is to build in weekly reporting of it all.
Each week we analyze our marketing numbers.
We know exactly how many leads are coming through the door for each website, from each ad etc.
We have a spreadsheet jam packed with the key numbers for our business.
Website visits, lead captures, new members, cancelled members, members by team member etc.
And each month we get an updated look on our own properties, rents, revenues etc.
We also look at Rock Star as a business and determine where our business is coming from.
Are some advertising sources converting better than others?
Are some more expensive than others but producing better clients?
It's an endless task.
We look at our marketing money more as a "testing budget" and if we're not tracking our our "tests" then we may as well be throwing money in the garbage.
Or having a big "Rock Star" party where we burn piles of money.
Tracking is critical to our success.
In fact, tracking and recording progress is the only way we know to grow - personally and professionally.
We're not playing a game here - this is business.
And we'd rather not do it.
We'd rather not have to track anything.
Not the number of leads, revenues, not what we eat, how much we exercise, how much we write.
We'd rather just do all of this when we "feel like it".
But we've learned unless you stay on top of this stuff it's easy to get surprised.
Before you know it a few extra weeks have gone by before you follow-up on that late rent.
Or a hundreds of dollars are spent on websites that generate leads but no sales.
Before you know it, you find out things that you may not be excited about, like "A hot guy waiting for you in the club".
Are you tracking your key metrics?
Have you figured out what your key metrics are?
Time to sit down and map them out?
Get a massive sticky note from Staples, slam it on the wall and start mapping them out.
Until next time ... YOUR LIFE! YOUR TERMS!
Great info! know your numbers!
Makes me think of something I just read regarding business concepts...
Quicken and spreadsheets, two of my favourite things....
Hi Tom: Six going on 27 eh? It gets worse. Wait'll she reaches her teens. LOL.
Diane Francis wrote an interesting article in the Saturday April 14/12 edition of the National Post in connection with hot money making its presence felt in the downtown Toronto condo market.
Its been obvious for some time the condo frenzy is not being driven just by population growth but rather from offshore investors. This is perhaps aided by the Swiss banks inability to shield depositors and they now must rat out depositers to the CRA and IRS. What better place to park funds than in Canada. Safe, politically stable etc etc. Diane has an interesting take on CMHC exposure in these deals as well that could leave us, the Canadian taxpayer on the hook for any future losses.
Drive around late at night down there and see all the newly finished condo buildings dark. Vacant, yeah vacant. These offshore hot money guys are not looking to establish paper trails through rentals, they just want anonymity. Meanwhile it distorts the h*ll out of Toronto real estate prices. Some of this hot money has moved into building monster infill homes and then just letting them sit. There are two of these on my street. They're well maintained, staggered lighting to make the dwellling appear occupied, window coverings, yards well maintained, junk mail gathered and security cars calling several times per day. Must be nice to have that kind of loot to hide.
Its also interesting to note U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has several Swiss bank accounts and has made application to the IRS to delay his income tax filing from April 15, 2012 for six months. The IRS allows this, but still Mr. Romney has some explaining to do.
Hey Gord, thanks for your comments.
You are right the rules of money globally have definitely changed and it is having a ripple effect on all of us.
If we all go into things with as much knowledge as possible it helps us all in making educated decisions and investments.
LOL....we like them only when they are working properly!