At this stage of the game, I realize I do not know much about being an entrepreneur. And I am okay with that because I am constantly feeding my mind and working on improving what this Safe Food En Route, LLC brand means to the world; what it means to me. And so I find myself drawn to people like Simon Sinek and his book: Start with Why.
One of the concepts that struck home today while listening to that book is measuring what is important. I realized when I left corporate world, I could measure and enforce whatever was important to me. There was a great comment in the book towards the end that used an example of someone that started a company and measured people on their timeclock like many companies do, but they changed it and measured people based on that they clocked in to work between 8 and 8:30 AM and clocked out between 5 and 5:30 PM, no later. What an amazing concept - measuring people by the time they went home, but not an exact time. They wanted people to finish their work and they wanted them to focus on getting it done and not watching the clock to make sure they didn't clock out late, but they didn't want the employees to stay too late either. This measurement helped employees to focus on what is important to the owner - getting home at a decent hour. I might have to adopt this type of concept if/when I hire anyone to work with me because I believe it is important that people I work with are recognized for their metrics instead of the timeclock they punched into. I already have a metric based model set up when I am ready to hire contractors - it won't be billable hours, it will be billable jobs. But that is not something I am doing just yet, so I am not adding it to my goals.....
But with that measurement idea in mind, I am working on what it important to me. A few weeks ago, I referenced WHY I left the corporate life. When you break it down, the reason that Safe Food En Route, LLC exists is to help educate the industry - specifically the industry that needs the assistance and doesn't have the same resource a large organization might have. And that is why I will measure my progress based on how I work towards that mission. I am currently brainstorming, but here are a few of the ideas that I have on what I will measure instead of the typical revenue and sales goals. As good as those are, they will make me focus more on the bottom-line and not on the main mission of education.
The Measurements in no specified order:
- Target sales to small and medium sized companies that need affordable food safety, FSVP and private label assistance.
- Develop strategic partnerships that can help support the Safe Food En Route, LLC mission of educating:
- Trade promotion offices
- Trade Show Organizations
- Business to Business meetings
- Charitable work focused on education only
- Partner with area universities to serve on committees, boards and student outreach programs.
- Volunteer time only to these types of entities and organizations
- Attend available seminars educated to best assist clientele and charitable work.
I am pretty sure 4 goals is reasonable for a start-up. My husband, Josh, is acting as CFO and has given me some other financial goals, but we don't have to tell him that I didn't set them up as my measurable goals, do we?
I will end this blog with a quote from another fellow thought-leader: Seth Godin
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