Category Archives: Business

Key Performance Indicators and Your Business – Part 2 of 2

Welcome back to the second and final installment of our series on KPIs. In this portion, we’ll explore the best way to define Key Performance Indicators, as well as show you how to communicate them across your organization. 

Defining KPIs

Here are a few guidelines you can use to focus your efforts in defining your KPIs.

KPIs vary: Every company and industry is different. This means not everyone will have the exact same KPIs. Even companies within the same industry, geography and size group might have some different KPIs; for example, results will vary if the businesses are at different life cycle phases. A family-owned company looking to be in business for the next 100 years is going to have different KPIs than the same business bought out by a private equity firm that is planning to resell in a few years. 

There are three main categories of KPIs: overall business, departmental/team and individual. Remember to separate supporting metrics from true KPIs across all three types.

Limit the number of KPIs you track: Measuring everything is as good as measuring nothing. Keep the “K” of KPIs in mind at all times; ensure you distill your KPIs to what are truly “key” for your business. Too many measures mean you’ll dilute your focus and may become diverted from what really matters.

Make Your KPIs Accessible

Mushroom management is an opaque management style where employees are not privy to the company’s performance and have little connection to their work and the purpose behind it. The name comes from how mushrooms are farmed—by being kept in the dark. This style of management can be very discouraging and disengaging to employees, with a recent report finding that:

  • About 80 percent of employees want more data about the company they work for to be shared with them;
  • Approximately 25 percent of employees either left or know someone who exited a company because of inadequate transparency on business direction and performance; and
  • More than half of employees say that sharing of company data positively impacts their performance and productivity.

Effective use of KPIs can dramatically increase the visibility of a company’s goals and performance, making employees feel like they are in the know, keeping them engaged, and connecting their work to the company’s mission. Coupled with effective communication, the right KPIs are part of the solution to mushroom management. 

Effective Communication and Consumption of KPIs

Unless you’re an analyst, you probably have little desire to paw through spreadsheets identifying KPIs and making sense of the numbers. In order to be accessible to a broad audience across your organization, KPIs need to be easily understood. One effective way to communicate the most actionable metrics is to display them on a large monitor in the office or factory floor.

Another strategy is to manage your metrics and KPIs with a dashboard. Building a business KPI dashboard can bring your metrics to life through visualization, allowing everyone easy access to the data. Dashboards are an effective way to track key objectives, drive your business decisions and accelerate growth.

KPI Examples

Not sure where to start? A great place to visit is this KPI Library, which provides an exhaustive list of metrics. Remember that everything included in the link above are metrics and should only be considered KPIs if you meet the right criteria given the context of your company and its objectives. The list of possible KPIs from the link above can be overwhelming, so if you need assistance picking and measuring the right KPIs, reach out for assistance.

Small Business Website Mistakes

For a small business, websites are a way to attract customers, enhance outreach, and market your product to almost anyone that has access to the internet. However, small business owners can make mistakes when it comes to building a website.

This article discusses the potential mistakes a small business owner may make, and how to avoid them.

To view this article, click the following link to access the original content.

Will Tariffs Ultimately Hurt U.S. Businesses?

U.S. economic interests may take a significant blow if the U.S. continues to impose tariffs on Chinese manufactured goods.

This article explains how business leaders across the U.S. are feeling about the continued trade war, and how the government is responding.

To view this article, click the following link to access the original content.

The New Normal in Family Business

Family businesses are being forced to innovate and change, and those that act quickly and decisively usually deliver better results.

This article explains the need for constant innovation, the importance of relying on older generations, and what it takes to disrupt an industry.

To view this article, click the following link to access the original content.

Explaining Deductions for Small Business Owners

New details have emerged from the IRS that explain how small business owners may be able to obtain different tax breaks.

This article discusses the different rules the IRS has proposed, and what this means for small business owners in the United States.

To view this article, click the following link to access the original content.

Oehrlein & Oehrlein, PC Joins CJBS, LLC in Merger

The certified public accounting firms of CJBS, LLC and Oehrlein & Oehrlein, PC are pleased to announce that effective August 1, 2018, Oehrlein & Oehrlein, PC has joined CJBS, LLC.

“Our firm’s commitment remains to serve our clients to the best possible degree,” said Jeff Stuart, CPA, Managing Member of CJBS. “This further enhances our ability to meet the needs of our clients. Together, we will continue serving Oehrlein & Oehrlein clients with the same exceptional service.”

“At Oehrlein & Oehrlein, PC, we have constantly worked towards adding resources and providing high quality service to our clients,” said Burke Oehrlein, Oehrlein & Oehrlein, PC. “Joining with CJBS will allow us to more effectively serve our clients.”

Oehrlein & Oehrlein, PC partners and staff have moved to the CJBS offices located at 2100 Sanders Road, Suite 200, Northbrook, IL 60062-6141.

Oehrlein & Oehrlein PC is a well-rounded, family-owned accounting and consulting firm serving clients throughout the greater Chicago area. Founded nearly 45 years ago, the firm focuses on working with locally-owned businesses providing tax and business advisory services.

Since 1987, CJBS, LLC has served the greater Chicago area as a valued advisor and community partner. CJBS, LLC is one of the fastest growing accounting and consulting firms in the Chicago area. We currently employ more than 45 professionals with a wide spectrum of industry expertise. We focus on delivering a complete spectrum of accounting, audit, tax, and financial consulting services. We focus on serving the clients we know and understand best: mid-size, closely held (often family-owned) companies.