Entrepreneurial CEOs tend to not be “book people.” We are more School of Hard Knocks and Real World people. One of the best ways to learn from the real world is to benchmark. Effectively benchmarking your key performance indicators against your competition can be a powerful exercise.
Unfortunately, a perfect library of KPIs does not exist. Your accountant may be able to help. Many accountants have access to industry standards for financial benchmarking. For benchmarking data outside of the financial realm, you will need to get more creative. Some place to get other benchmarking data are:
The most interesting of these options is the non-competitive business group. This option not only gives you access to benchmarking data, it gives you access to the business people that created the data. Business peer groups can assist you in uncovering the data as well as implementing strategies to improve your business using the data. Here is a list of vertical business groups:
CEO Focus Vertical
CEO Focus offers peer groups for 21 different industries. Groups meet virtually each quarter plus an annual in-person conference. All members are non-competitive geographically but in the same business.
Women’s Automotive Dealers: http://www.advisorylink-dfw.com/index.html
Automotive Remarketers: http://www.iaraonline.org/
Construction Industry: www.cirt.org
Wine Industry: www.winebusiness.com
Food Industry: http://www.fibr.info/
No fluff. No fancy theories. Get real-world experience learned at the world’s most expensive business school: The School of Hard Knocks.
Jim Muehlhaussen has traveled the country collecting the best and worst practices from business owners. The 51 Fatal Business Errors provides a quick and easy format to learn from other business owners’ successes and failures. Each error contains a real-life example and definitive action-steps needed to improve common areas of weakness in small businesses. The dangerous (but common) mistakes described are outlined in four categories: “Myth -Busters,” Improving your personal effectiveness,” Using best practices,” and “Mule-kicks” – Muehlhausen’s bluntly honest tips that realign the way small business owners typical lines of thought. Readers will be able to use it to energize themselves about the boundless possibilities of their businesses while giving them practical steps to move forward to the next level.