8 Ways to Track Your Business Success

Having a business plan, and incremental goals is a great way to know how you will get where you want to go. But you’ve also got to determine how effectively you are moving in the direction of your goals.

Some business owners use online tools to track measurable results, and others create unique internal systems to track progress. Last week I wanted to know what methods our panel of amazing entrepreneurs uses and asked –

What specific system have you created, or online tool do you use to strategically track your progress toward your business goals?

From internally generated, and simple visual boards, to the use on online task management solutions, below you will find many solutions you can consider implementing in your business to stay on track toward success. Enjoy!

1. Tracking The Money Honey

In my business I use search engine optimization tools on my website to track my newsletters and blog post. I use analytics to track who is opening my newsletters, how long they are on the newsletters and what links they are clicking on. This helps me track the progress of the information and resources that I am posting and how interested the readers are in the resources that I post in the newsletter. After tracking the analytics I then use that information when reaching out to my client base and my potential clients.

Thanks to Eula M. Young of Griot’s Roll Film Production & Services Inc.

2. Dump Your Brain!

To keep track of my progress regarding my business goals, I use a good, old-fashioned brain dump. It’s very simple – every couple of weeks, I write a list of projects for each of my businesses and check to be sure that each one is aligned with my current business goals. As I complete each project, I cross it off. If I haven’t completed a project at the time that I create a new list, I put it on the new list – but only if it is still aligned with my business goals. I keep my lists in a notebook and look at them over time. I can see at any given time what I’ve done, what I am doing, and what I still need to do. Importantly, I can also easily reflect on the value of what I’ve done – what it has contributed to my business (or not). It’s a great way to keep everything top of mind.

Thanks to Monique Y. Wells of Understanding Time Management

3. Smartsheet Helps Us Manage SMART Success.

We try to make our quarterly goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound). Since we have a growing team in a variety of locations, we have found an online software called Smartsheet to help us manage our progress. Every team member has an account to SmartSheet and is able to track progress on tasks in a real-time basis. Our Board of Directors and management can also look at every project across the team to check on progress across the organization. Smartsheet enables us to communicate effectively—we use this tool to sync communications around specific topics and ask questions when we run into roadblocks. Without Smartsheet, I’m not sure we could keep up with the multitude of projects on the table. It keeps us organized and helps us communicate effectively.

Thanks to Mona Anita Olsen of iMADdu (I make a difference, do you?)

4. HubSpot Is Our Tool Of Choice

HubSpot (www.hubspot.com) is a CRM that we use to host our website and clients’ websites on. It’s amazing – it allows you to manage keywords, web pages, blog entries, social media posting and emails, all in one easy to use dashboard. We use their analytics tools all the time to track our progress. We’re able to see how effective our keywords are, where we rank in search engines like Google, our social media reach, and even the leads and prospects of our website. It helps us stay on track with our business goals for sure!

Thanks to Emily Carter of Grass Roots Marketing, Inc.

5. Try A Homegrown Remedy!

We use a homegrown system that tracks everything we put into our website. The beauty of having a team of programmers that is supremely accessible is that we can track everything that has to do with our business by a simple management screen that was created for us only. It allows us to track site statistics, company budgets, monthly profits, ad revenue, and office productivity time. All these stats have visual comparables by week, month, year, and quarter.

Thanks to Michael Pesochinsky of GovernmentAuctions.org

6. Keeping It Simple

As tech savvy as I am, the system I rely upon to track the progress of my business goals is a combination dry erase/cork board. It is hung above my desk which makes it easy to view and update. Using a combination of different color coded notes and post-its I know exactly what my progress is at a single glance.

Thanks to Barbara Goldberg of Back On Track Solutions

7. Handle It All With Outlook

I use Outlook Tasks to tracks all of my goals. Each goal is tracked in a single task. On the subject line, I enter the goal, preceded by “xx” which is preceded by the next step towards attaining that goal. All related information goes in the note section of that task. Throughout the life of the goal, each time I complete one next step, I replace it with whatever comes after that. So, with a single task, I am looking at what I need to be doing it, what goal I am working towards, and all of the information related to it.

Thanks to Frank Buck of Frank Buck Consulting, Inc.

8. Milestone Markers Used Continually

Our goals are measured through a strategic plan and framework which guide us through various stages of development. There are check points along the way in the form of milestones – these milestones are crucial – and a review process that forces re-examination of the plan. If necessary, adjustments are made along the way, but we are very critical of why we make adjustments, not to use them as an excuse for failure. A person is designated the purveyor of the plan and the responsible person that ensures its tracking is as expected. The person monitors every aspect of its development from creation to conclusion. Performance and bonus’ are measured based on achievements relative to the milestones.

Thanks to Guy Mckenzie-Smith of WSES Wind Energy Installation

Thanks so much again to all our wonderful contributors for sharing your secrets to tracking success! We hope to hear from you again. And to all our readers, if you have an innovative idea to share, we hope you will leave it in the comments below.


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  1. Posted July 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow, what a great opportunity to know all of these from successful people. Indeed each of us has its own tool to track our business success. It doesn’t matter if you use softwares, or the old fashioned one as long it can give you the data that you needed.

  2. Posted April 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I think the easiest and most productive way is to have a precise plan for each day of the week and cross it off the list as you go through the day.
    And try to split test your activities, so have a much better idea as to where your business is coming from and concentrate on that.

    • Posted May 1, 2012 at 6:03 am | Permalink | Reply

      Andrey, Thank you so much for your comment! I love it when readers share their great tips that have been effective in business. It is a great way for us to all learn from each other. 🙂 Shannon

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] Tracking your success. Offering better products and services should translate into higher profit and better business for your company. You should also consider better methods of tracking your success. Here are some thoughts. Dr. Shannon Reece […]

  2. […] Tracking your success. Offering better products and services should translate into higher profit and better business for your company. You should also consider better methods of tracking your success. Here are some thoughts. Dr. Shannon Reece […]

  3. By Is Your Business Offering Something Better? on April 17, 2012 at 4:32 am

    […] Tracking your success. Offering better products and services should translate into higher profit and better business for your company. You should also consider better methods of tracking your success. Here are some thoughts. Dr. Shannon Reece […]

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