How To Look At The Big Picture In Business

look at big picture in business economic overview

It's 2021 now, so stop living your personal and professional life in snapshots. Almost everyone I know uses data in snapshots, and it’s almost completely the wrong way to use data for businesses. By snapshots, I mean looking at your data once in a while, peeking at it, opening up a dashboard, whatever. We look using snapshots of data rather than seeing our data as a living, breathing entity - and then we’re taken by surprise when our occasional glances at our data reveal something we didn’t expect. 

You know these snapshots well. They’re your monthly report, your quarterly board review, your occasional deep dive into Google Analytics. Is living in snapshots better than not looking at your data at all? Sure. But it’s substantially worse than having your data snippets be part of your routine, of your life. When you live in snapshots, you miss trends and changes in your data. For example, I watch COVID-19 data daily as part of my daily pandemic newsletter. Every day I see what’s happening with three KPIs: new cases, new hospitalizations, and new deaths - and because I have my finger on the pulse of the data, I can more accurately predict what’s going to happen. 

When the most recent Coronavirus case surge began, I knew we were headed for lockdowns because the surge was so much bigger and faster than the previous two surges. What did I do? You’ll remember  when I said how it hurt to tell my parents we weren’t coming for the holidays. They didn’t see what I saw in the data. Fast forward a month and every government official and scientist is telling us the same - stay home for the holidays. I restocked everything that needed restocking six weeks ago, and told my newsletter readers to do the same. 

Go ahead, ask me how much toilet paper I have in my basement. Fast forward to today? Headlines in the news about panic buying and shortages again as lockdowns commence (that same toilet paper I bought six weeks ago is out of stock on Amazon). When you live in the data, you are a part of its story and you can see where the story is going. How do you make data part of your life instead of living in snapshots? Make it someplace you go regularly to think of the big picture in business

If there are marketing metrics that are critical to you, put them on a Google Data Studio dashboard and make that the start page of your browser, so that every time you go to post a rant on Facebook or mindlessly watch cat videos on YouTube, your data is the first thing you see. Once you build the habit of seeing your data as often as you see other things important to you in your life, you’ll make better decisions and faster decisions with it. Think big picture!

At the end of a livestream I was doing last week, a viewer questioned the advice I was giving out about not using pre-pandemic data to forecast the next year, since the world is fundamentally different. They asked, “Can you make reliable strategic decisions based on a short window of data (daily), compared to year over year? Do seasonal differences not matter right now because the world is so different?” This is a really good question. 

The way I’m thinking about the world right now is like holiday driving, back when we used to travel for holidays. Holiday traffic was always a series of snarls that required a lot of agility and Google Maps. Traffic jam? Accident? Lane closure? Bad weather? You had to route around traffic jams, somethings pre-emptively if you know the area well, all while making progress towards your destination. You couldn’t rely on long-term forecasts for long drives. If you’re driving from Boston to New York, you can’t look at traffic in New York City now while you’re just leaving your house in Boston - by the time you get there, the situation will totally have changed. Some things remain relatively constant - you know that certain roads are ALWAYS a mess, even on good days. You know that people generally stop to eat at certain times. So even though the specific details are obscured, experience plus great data let you navigate the issues and get to your destination. 

That’s how I feel about forecasting right now. It’s fine to set goals, just as it’s fine to put a destination in Google Maps. You kind of have to if you want to get where you’re going. But you have to be able to adapt, adapt, adapt - and quickly - to deal with exceptionally uncertain circumstances. The way you’ve done things in the past doesn’t necessarily apply, so be ready to make significant changes while still driving towards your goals. And like driving in holiday traffic, to the best of your ability, try to enjoy what you can of the journey as you drive towards your goals in the year ahead. We know it’s not going to be a smooth ride. We know that we’re in for some rough spots. But that shouldn’t preclude us from enjoying ourselves when we’re not in those sticky spots, just like we can still make the most of bad traffic and sing along to our favorite playlists when no one’s listening.

If you happen to be a small business owner, business management should be a leading priority.  Business management could be defined as the process of planning, directing and controlling a company.  Business management is used to successfully address and fix the problems that a business might be having in establishing its role as an organization, which delivers and generates value.  Creating and offering value for the customers of a company will allow that business' profits to exceed the total costs of operating that business

Business management is going to include advertising, finance, accounting, production, human resources, product research and development as well as management information systems.  To manage your own company, you will need to have expert knowledge in all of these fields.  Larger businesses and companies generally have different managers throughout the company for each of the fore mentioned business management areas.  For example, large companies will have an advertising and marketing manager, finance manager, accounting manager and so on.  However, there are some small business owners who are going to want or need to take on all of these positions themselves. 

Some small business owners will simply be unable to afford all of these different employees.  Other small business owners may perhaps simply want to take care of the business management on their own.  Of course, there are quite a few small business owners who don't want to entirely take business management into their own hands and will hire employees to be leading managers.  Any small business owner who decides to take business management concerns into their own hands needs to remember that this is a substantial job and the work will generally be tedious. 

Business managers will need to be able to recognize the talents and weaknesses of their company in relation to other businesses in their industry.  They must also be able to set objectives and goals for the business and implement the business plan or strategy.  A manager must also be able to alter business plans and strategies if they must be revised. Business management also includes ensuring that all employees are properly trained and have a good attitude.  The employees will need to be educated on all of the goals of a company so that they can help to achieve these goals.  

Whether you hire qualified personnel to assist you with managing your company or decide to take on all of the managing yourself, business management is highly crucial to the vitality of your business. See the big picture in business and act on it! 

When it comes to delivering the best possible experience for your clients, it’s important to have access to the best loans, technology, and training. With us, not only do you get exactly that, but also a support team to help your business, Account Executives to guide you, and a Tech Team ready to help you with personalized training as soon as you partner with us. If that sounds like something you want to experience, here are three more reasons why you should become a Frugal Finance Partner. 

Reason #1: Project Your Presence - Have you been running your own marketing campaigns, developing the strategies, and posting to your own social media? Is that cutting into client time or lead follow-up? When you partner with us, you gain access to professional-quality marketing materials through Frugal Finance. Everything you need to further your marketing will be at your fingertips, with the ability to customize the materials to best represent your brand. 

Reason #2: Keep Your Clients - One of the biggest fears that brokers have when it comes to working with lenders is knowing what happens to their clients. But with Frugal Finances, you can rest easy. When you partner with us, you keep them. You fostered the relationships, you put in the legwork, and it’s our job to make sure they keep coming back to you for all their mortgage needs. We’re able to do this because we don’t sell off your loans to the highest bidder; we keep them with us. We stay connected with them on your behalf, and when they show interest in a new loan, refinancing, or referrals, we’re here to let you know and help you in that process! 

Reason #3: Education And Training - With the way the market fluctuates, it’s important that you stay on top of all the new trends that pop up. In addition to that, new technology has been consistently coming out to help brokers in the loan process. Frugal Finance provides top-quality training and education on all technologies we offer to help you grow your business to new heights. Our unique programs will teach you all the skills you’ll need to succeed in your industry. 

Big Picture Business Building

Make sure that in 2021 you look at the big picture in business and in your personal lives as well, not just small snapshots! Think big and build bigger.

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