Keeping Score: The Only Way to Know if You’re Winning or Losing

By January 26th, 2017 No Comments

Imagine for a moment that your business is Real Madrid (or Barcelona, or Bayern Munich – we’re not biased).

As your team takes to the field, you look around and appreciate the talent on display. The pacey winger, the rock solid centre back, the goal machine up front, and the safe pair of hands between the sticks.

You know that if your team plays to its potential, you’ll win this game easily. But wait, what’s this? There’s no referee; no linesmen; no scoreboard operator.  If this game goes ahead, who’s going to keep score?


Game On

In business – just as in sport – keeping score is crucial. It’s what tells you, and everyone else, whether you’re winning or losing. Or, more to the point, whether or not your business is a success.

There are a few mechanisms available to help you keep score:

  • Instead of a referee and linesmen, you have a business accounting platform and your accountant.
  • Instead of the scoreboard, you have your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

However, unlike most professional sports where the officials and scoreboards are supplied, the onus of keeping score lands squarely at your feet as the leader of your business.

Your Business Referee

Now, you could employ a man in black with a whistle to his lips to skulk in the corner of your office, ready to intervene when your business overspends, but that hardly seems like an effective use of funds.

Rather, your accounting system should act as your business referee, offering guidance, the odd yellow card, and generally allowing your business to flow without any surprises.

What’s more, you should think of your accountant as the linesman, ready to raise his flag when you stray offside, and letting play continue when you have a legitimate chance of scoring.

Your Business Scoreboard

With your accounting system and accountant offering some structure, insight, and expertise, you need something you can glance at to let you know if you’re winning.

That’s where your scoreboard comes into play.

Tracking KPIs such as team satisfaction, customer service support, lead generation, conversion rates, sales order value, project efficiency, and more can and will provide you with the clarity to know if your business is 3 up at half-time or scrambling for a 0-0 draw.


Get Your Team Onside

Now that you have the means to play the game, it’s time to get your team drilled and ready to perform.

A football team know that if they score more than their opposition, they’ll win. And if they win, they’re awarded 3 points. And if they accrue more points than the other teams in their league, they’ll finish top of the table and be declared champions.

Simple, right?

So it stands to reason that your team need to understand the nuances of your company’s game. What constitutes a goal? What is needed to win? What does long-term success look like?

By working together to evaluate your company’s KPIs, you can translate them into something that impacts the bottom line. What’s more, you can actively demonstrate to your team how their contributions have helped move the needle.

For example, has a department addressed issues of capacity or increased efficiencies? Well, that’s a little like winning a last-minute penalty or putting a really dangerous cross into the box.

Prove to your team that their work is having a legitimate impact on the success of the business, and watch them knuckle down and work even harder to keep it going.


Fight to Win

The French author Andre Maurois famously said “Business is a combination of war and sport.

We’ve doubled down on the sport metaphor to really hammer home the need for structure and tracking in your business. Keeping score is vital if you’re to know that your company is succeeding.

But you also have to be prepared to fight for the win; after all, no team ever won just by showing up – and that goes for business, sport, and war.

Setting up your business accounting system and working with a trusted accountant is a good place to start.

Pinpointing your business’ financial KPIs will help you take things to the next level.

And inspiring your team to pull in the same direction towards a common goal will drive your business towards the win.


We’ve helped many digital and creative agencies grow from jumpers for goalposts to Premier League contenders. Get in touch and find out how My Accountancy Place can put your agency on the path to success.

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