Baseline Numbers Tell a Story
By Mindy Solkin
Founder of The Running Center
They are pure and finite and they tell a story. My computer files are filled with numbers that were a result of testing to establish baselines.
The runners that I have coached since 1992 were the subjects. Their test results served as a starting point from which to show progress. These fitness biometrics included pace per mile, heart rate, breathing rate, perceived exertion and the more scientific VO2 Max (maximum volume of oxygen) and RMR (resting metabolic rate).
Traditionally, numbers for your business target your financial plan. That’s a no-brainer.
Although not all aspects of your business are quantifiable, there are many metrics for your company that can highlight stagnation or the percentage of growth. Determining what numbers you want to follow will depend on the type of business you’re in and your business strategy. Key to understanding if (for example) an ad campaign worked (or didn’t) is to record the starting date of a particular component and the numeric of each element.
These are your baselines.
In an office setting, you may want to note when you purchased certain office supplies such as copy paper, post-it notes and paper cups. Knowing how much you (and your staff) use over a certain period of time, can allow for better planning on future orders which can save you money down the road.
When I retest my runners, I have a big smile on my face knowing that they made progress and being able to prove it to them with specific documentation. You’ll smile too when you compare your baselines with the new numbers that tell a story. It may not always be the story you want to hear, but it will allow you to implement changes when you set-up new criteria to be tested in the future.
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