4 Numbers for Every Entrepreneur To Track

By Alexa von Tobel | Small Business

Tracking specific data is important, but these key numbers are just as essential.

I am--admittedly--a bit of a data junkie. As an entrepreneur, looking at data is critical for me to make quick decisions and to track progress over time. It helps give me a read of what’s working and where we need to improve.

Outside of the specific data each entrepreneur needs to track for their business, I think there are a few key areas we all can stay on top of to help maximize our productivity and keep us focused on the road ahead.

Here are the four key numbers I always want to know:

#1: Steps Taken.

Someone once told me that if you knew what it took to start a company, you’d never do it. Being an entrepreneur is challenging, and at times, completely overwhelming. But we do it because we can’t imagine doing anything more fulfilling-;and it’s critical to take care of ourselves along the way.

In between cross-country travel and office all-nighters, it’s important to maintain your health to stay in top working shape. Outside of regular workouts, I make sure I’m being active by keeping an eye on my daily steps taken (thanks to my FitBit).

#2: Emails to Tackle.

I don’t know how it happens, but my inbox can invariably turn into a warzone if I’m not careful. I always keep an eye on the total email count and strive to make sure it’s under 25 at all times. I won’t go into my complex email labeling system, but the bottom line is that tracking your inbox closely is the only way to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.

Whether you use services like Boomerang or SaneBox, set a clear limit of how many unhandled emails is too many and track it daily to make sure you’re sticking to that limit.

#3: Strategy Time.

It is all too easy to have your calendar fill up with meeting after meeting after meeting. Or for your day to be run by your to-do list. Step back and analyze your calendar. How many hours did you actually put into the hard work of strategizing? Are you giving yourself enough time to get a birds-eye view of what you really should be focusing on?

It may seem silly to retroactively count how many hours you spent on strategy, but I find that it’s an important mark of how my calendar is running over all. When I realized my strategic thinking time was falling by the wayside, I decided to set aside a whole day-;typically Mondays-;for this very purpose.

#4: Personal Budget.

While you’re undertaking the risk of entrepreneurship, it’s even more important to make sure you’re protecting your personal finances. This is something you can track daily with what I call a "Money Minute." I use our LearnVest app and check in each and every morning (the first thing I do after browsing Instagram). This can be an ideal time to look out for any fraudulent transactions and see how well you’re staying on budget. Doing this daily is key, as it can give you time to adjust. If you overspent last week-;it happens-;know that and move forward accordingly.

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